WASHINGTON – On the eve of the eighth anniversary of a devastating Haitian earthquake, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) issued a strong condemnation of President Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments about immigration from that country, El Salvador and African nations.
“The resident’s statement is shameful, abhorrent, unpresidental, and deserves our strongest condemnation,” the congresswoman said in a Thursday afternoon statement. “We must use our voices to ensure that our nation never returns to the days when ignorance, prejudice, and racism dictated our decision making.”
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said in a statement that: “President Trump’s comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views.” Richmond said the comments attest to “concerns that we hear every day, that the President’s slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a tweet that Trump’s comments reinforce the need for Congress to expeditiously pass legislation protecting the more than 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 11, 2018
The Washington Post reported that in a Thursday afternoon Oval Office meeting in which Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers met to negotiate renewal of Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for Haitians, El Salvadorans and other immigrants as part of a broader immigration reform package-the president said: “Why are we having all these people from s**hole countries come here?”
Trump reportedly said: “Why do we need more Haitians?” “Take them out”
The Post based their report on unnamed sources said to have been briefed on the meeting.
In a Friday morning tweet, Trump suggested that the Post report is inaccurate.
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, according to the Haitian government, and injured about 300,000 others. Many people lost their homes and much of the country was destroyed.
In November, the administration announced its intention to remove TPS status for 60,000 Haitians.