In what may prove his most shocking statement yet, President Trump reportedly asked yesterday why the U.S. would take more immigrants from “s—hole countries” — drawing criticism from Haiti’s ambassador and civil rights groups.
The bombshell comment came as Trump rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to sources cited in news reports.
The White House did not deny his remark, but issued a statement saying Trump supports immigration policies that welcome “those who can contribute to our society.”
White House spokesman Raj Shah’s statement said, “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people.”
Trump’s comment came as two senators presented details of a bipartisan compromise that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants — the so-called “Dreamers” — and also strengthen border protections, as Trump has insisted.
Sources reportedly said the remark came as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was explaining that as part of that deal, a lottery for visas that has benefited people from Africa and other nations would be ended, though there could be another way for them to apply. Durbin said people would be allowed to stay in the U.S. who fled here after disasters hit their homes in places, including El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti.
Trump specifically questioned why the U.S. would want to admit more people from Haiti. As for Africa, he asked why more people from “s—hole countries” should be allowed into the U.S., the sources said.
The president suggested that instead, the U.S. should allow more entrants from countries like Norway. Trump met this week with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Haitian Ambassador Paul G. Altidor said in a statement, “The president was either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people.”
The NAACP accused Trump of “lowbrow, callous and unfiltered racism.”
The American Civil Liberties Union said Trump “has been consistently honest about the white nationalism behind his immigration policies.”
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has sparred with Trump over his negative comments about Mexico, tweeted: “Your mouth is the foulest s—hole in the world.”
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
Authored by Sophie Ryan