Trump: Why allow immigrants from ‘shithole countries’

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.''

By: AP | New Delhi | Updated: January 12, 2018 8:04 am
 trump, immigration, shithole countries, trump immigration remark, us president donald trump, white house, trump racist remark FILE- In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Trump used profane language to disparage African nations in a meeting with lawmakers about a proposed bipartisan deal on immigration, according to two people briefed on an Oval Office meeting held Thursday, Jan. 11. (AP Photo)

In bluntly vulgar language, 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 rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation.

Trump’s contemptuous description of an entire continent startled lawmakers in the meeting and immediately revived charges that the president is racist, reports AP.  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.”

 

Trump’s comments came as two senators presented details of a bipartisan compromise that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants _ and also strengthen border protections as Trump has insisted.

The lawmakers had hoped Trump would back their accord, an agreement among six senators evenly split among Republicans and Democrats, ending a months-long, bitter dispute over protecting the “Dreamers.” But the White House later rejected it, plunging the issue back into uncertainty just eight days before a deadline that threatens a government shutdown.

Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’ s No. 2 Democrat, explained that as part of that deal, a lottery for visas that has benefited people from Africa and other nations would be ended, the sources said, 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, immigration, shithole countries, trump immigration remark, us president donald trump, white house, trump racist remark FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/File Photo

Trump specifically questioned why the U.S. would want to admit more people from Haiti. As for Africa, he asked why more people from “shithole 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.

Asked about the remarks, White House spokesman Raj Shah did not deny them. “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” he said. Trump’s remarks were remarkable even by the standards of a president who has been accused by his foes of racist attitudes and has routinely smashed through public decorum that his modern predecessors have generally embraced.

Trump has claimed without evidence that Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, wasn’t born in the United States, has said Mexican immigrants were “bringing crime” and were “rapists” and said there were “very fine people on both sides” after violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one counter-protester dead.

“Racist,” tweeted Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., after Thursday’s story broke. Trump has called himself the “least racist person that you’ve ever met.” Critics also have questioned his mental fitness to serve as president, citing his inability to muster some policy details and his tweets asserting his “nuclear button” is bigger than North Korea’s. He responded to such criticism with a recent tweet calling himself “a very stable genius” who is “like, really smart.”

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly describe the conversation. One said lawmakers in the room were taken aback by Trump’s remarks. The Trump administration announced late last year that it would end a temporary residency permit program that allowed nearly 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States following a devastating 2010 earthquake.

Trump has spoken positively about Haitians in public. During a 2016 campaign event in Miami, he said “the Haitian people deserve better” and told the audience of Haitian-Americans he wanted to “be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion.” The agreement that Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., described to Trump also includes his $1.6 billion request for a first installment on his long-sought border wall, aides familiar with the agreement said. They required anonymity because the agreement is not yet public.

Trump’s request covers 74 miles of border wall as part of a 10-year, $18 billion proposal. Democrats had long vowed they wouldn’t fund the wall but are accepting the opening request as part of a broader plan that protects from deportation about 800,000 younger immigrants brought to the country as children and now here illegally.

The deal also would include restrictions on a program allowing immigrants to bring some relatives to the U.S. In an afternoon of drama and confusing developments, four other GOP lawmakers _ including hardliners on immigration _ were also in Trump’s office for Thursday’s meeting, a development sources said Durbin and Graham did not expect. It was unclear why the four Republicans were there, and the session did not produce the results the two senators were hoping for.

“There has not been a deal reached yet,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But she added, “We feel like we’re close.” Underscoring the hurdles facing the effort, other Republicans also undercut the significance of the deal the half-dozen senators hoped to sell to Trump.

“How do six people bind the other 94 in the Senate? I don’t get that,” said No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas. Cornyn said the six lawmakers were hoping for a deal and “everyone would fall in line. The president made it clear to me on the phone less than an hour ago that he wasn’t going to do that.”

The six senators have been meeting for months to find a way to revive protections for young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and are here illegally. Trump ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last year but has given Congress until March 5 to find a way to keep it alive.

Federal agencies will run out of money and have to shut down if lawmakers don’t pass legislation extending their financing by Jan. 19. Some Democrats are threatening to withhold their votes _ which Republicans will need to push that legislation through Congress _ unless an immigration accord is reached. Cornyn said the real work for a bipartisan immigration deal will be achieved by a group of four leading lawmakers _ the No. 2 Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate. That group met for the first time this week.

The immigration effort seemed to receive a boost Tuesday when Trump met with two dozen lawmakers and agreed to seek a bipartisan way to resuscitate the program. The group agreed to also include provisions strengthening security _ which for Trump means building parts of a wall along the border with Mexico _ curbing immigrants’ relatives from coming here and restricting the visa lottery.

Also in Thursday’s Oval Office meeting were House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and GOP Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. Aides to lawmakers who attended declined to provide comment on Trump’s remarks.

Any immigration deal would face hurdles winning congressional approval. Many Democrats would oppose providing substantial sums for Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Many Hispanic and liberal members of the party oppose steps toward curtailing immigration such as ending the visa lottery and restricting the relatives that legal immigrants could bring to the U.S.

Among Republicans, some conservatives are insisting on going further than the steps that Trump has suggested. They want to reduce legal immigration, require employers to verify workers’ citizenship and block federal grants to so-called sanctuary cities that hinder federal anti-immigrant efforts.

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  1. Mittu Hashimoto
    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:48 pm
    He must be having same opinion about India as well.
    (0)(0)
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    1. Abhivadan Vashisht
      Jan 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm
      He is just saying it out in public what most of the Americans actually feel about immigrants from Arab and African countries. And to some extent they feel right. The many recent terrorist attacks in western countries have generated this feeling of insecurity and hate.
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      1. Sideon Sid
        Jan 12, 2018 at 11:45 am
        😄 lol ! Sanghi dumBhakts seem to be upset at trump . They were praying for a trump victory and performing yagnas before the election . Don't worry Bhakts , your American master was only referring to Sheeth0les in Africa . Though i am sure he does not have a different opinion of India . 😄
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        1. Sideon Sid
          Jan 12, 2018 at 11:38 am
          For the 1st time i completely agree with trump . There are some h0le counties in Asia too. Countries where over half the population don't have toilets and they p00p in the open. I am sure Bhakts will agree . 😄
          (10)(9)
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          1. Peace Parmar
            Jan 12, 2018 at 12:15 pm
            sid great then do one think ask mother wife and daughter to open up their so people will there
            (4)(8)
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            1. Govind Indurkar
              Jan 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm
              If you consider this a why don’t you leave fact you are making every country you go to ,a hole.Remember USA has banned only Islamic countries not India.You know what they mean by hole.
              (1)(2)
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            2. Kulmohan Manchanda
              Jan 12, 2018 at 11:12 am
              Trump is very conveniently forgetting that majority of Americans (including the non -hole Trump himself) are immigrants from Europe or descendants of European immigrants.
              (23)(1)
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              1. a don
                Jan 12, 2018 at 11:35 am
                Yeah but the fact is Europe already had Renaissance and industrial development when people left to America mainly for religious freedom. At that time, America was barren and these immigrants worked like anything to create today's America from barren land. People from Haiti and African countries that are full of corruption and crime come to America and steal the jobs of local Americans after getting total amnesty. Naturally, the local Americans are peeved and Trump is just expressing their anxities.
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                1. Kulmohan Manchanda
                  Jan 12, 2018 at 11:47 am
                  The fact is that vast resources offered by the lands of America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia make up half the globe. It's only fair that it is shared more equitably and enjoyed in alike measures by the entire mankind and not just the European descendents settled in this lands.
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                  1. a don
                    Jan 12, 2018 at 12:18 pm
                    why should they share? at the cost of their own jobs?
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                    1. Prakash Vtt
                      Jan 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm
                      Not all Europeans had Renaissance and industrial development,they left to America mainly for kill and loot gold from native Americans(red Indians),Mexicans,Incas,Aztecs,Lencas. Columbus too,falsely later maintained that he himself had already seen a light on the land(america) a few hours earlier, thereby claiming for himself the lifetime pension promised by Ferdinand and Isabella to the first person to sight land.
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                    2. mtv
                      Jan 12, 2018 at 12:08 pm
                      That is correct. Trump is forgetting the steps used and sacrifices done by his forefathers for USA to reach this level. One day himself or the American people who elected him will end up paying for these lapses. That does not absolve the countries who are under brutal dictatorships, Islamic fanatics, communist and so called socialist countries (including India) for damaging those country economies and forced their population to migrate to USA.
                      (1)(1)
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