On January 11th, President Donald Trump took his history of offensive comments to a new low when he said that he didn’t see why the United States should take immigrants from “shithole countries.” But despite the president’s offensive rhetoric, the White House defended Trump’s “shithole countries” comment today, January 12th.
According to the Washington Post, Trump made the comment in a meeting to discuss replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But when talking about protections for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, and African countries, Trump displayed an unwillingness to welcome these populations.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah did not deny that Trump made the offensive comment. Instead, he told ABC that Trump wanted to “fight for the American people.”
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” Shah wrote in a statement. “The President will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration – two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country.”
But other politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, reacted to Trump’s remark with outrage. Republican Representative Mia Love, whose parents are Haitian, said Trump’s comment was unacceptable in a statement.
“The president’s comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” Love said.
Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Mark Pocan mocked Trump on Twitter, writing, “The real question is why we allow presidents from sh*thole companies like the Trump Organization.”
The real question is why we allow presidents from sh*thole companies like the Trump Organization https://t.co/OHD7rLPHwK— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) January 11, 2018
Trump denied that he ever made the comment in a tweet early on January 12th.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” he wrote.
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Trump had previously called for a bipartisan “bill of love” to replace DACA.
From commenting that Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” after coming to the U.S. to retweeting anti-Muslim videos, Trump has displayed prejudice numerous times since taking office. Trump’s latest comments are appalling and should never have been made by the president. But no matter what Trump says, we stand by immigrants from every country.