US President Donald Trump has expressed frustration over efforts of some US lawmakers to protect immigrants from Haiti and African countries, asking why America should accept citizens from “sh***ole” countries, triggering protests.
President Donald Trump questioned Thursday why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway, as he discussed a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation.
“Why are we having all these people from sh***ole countries come here?” Trump was quoted by multiple media reports.
The President was referring to African countries and Haiti, and then suggested the US should welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose prime minister met with Trump on Wednesday.
The President, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt they help the United States economically.
Reached for comment about the article, the Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary, Raj Shah did not deny the “shithole” remark, but instead said in a statement that Trump “is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”
The President’s comments were first reported by The Washington Post.
Several Democratic lawmakers slammed Trump for his comments and described them as racist comment.
“President Trump’s comments are racist and a disgrace. They do not reflect our nation’s values. Immigrants from throughout the world of all races, nationalities, and religions have built this country and are contributing today to its improvement,” said House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer.
“These comments clearly reflect the President’s true feelings on immigrants and make it extremely doubtful that he will work in an honest, decent way that reflects America’s best values on legislation to protect DREAMers,” Hoyer said.
“As an American, I am ashamed of the president. His comments are disappointing, unbelievable, but not surprising. We always knew that president Trump doesn’t like people from certain countries or people of certain colors,” alleged Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez.
“Language like that shouldn’t be heard in locker rooms and it shouldn’t be heard in the White House,” said Congresswoman Ilena Ros-Lehtinen.
In a statement, Shah said the President will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration – two programs that ‘hurt American economy and allow terrorists into the country.’
“Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation,” Shah said.