Cucinelli: Bahamas 'capable of taking care of their own'

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli on Sunday defended the Trump administration’s decision not to grant temporary protected status to Bahamians displaced by Hurricane Dorian, saying the government there is “capable of taking care of their own.”

“The Bahamas is a perfectly legitimate country capable of taking care of their own,” Cuccinelli said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” adding that U.S. immigration agencies “rushed in resources” and noting that power has already been restored in the northernmost islands.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that the official death toll from the storm stands at 50, and some 1,300 people are missing.

The news service added that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday visited Great Abaco, where he said he was horrified by the "level of systematic devastation."

“Hurricane Dorian has been classified as Category 5. I think it’s Category Hell,” he said.


In the same interview on Sunday, Cuccinelli defended the Trump administration’s asylum rules after the Supreme Court ruled they could take effect.

“It will be a deterrent for some people, particularly those who are going to be coming and claiming what are clearly false claims,” Cuccinelli told CBS’s Margaret Brennan, without elaborating. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, he added, the administration will implement the policy in “days, not weeks.”

“There are legitimate asylum claims, some of them have been waiting over two years, and we take those very seriously… unfortunately, the system has been clogged up with a lot of fraudulent claims,” he added.