Trump blames 'shithole' countries for illegal immigrants to US
Washington: 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 "shithole" countries, triggering protests.
Trump met senators and congressmen and pushed for immigrants from certain Asian countries who help America economically.
"Why are we having all these people from shithole 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.
His comments, which has been slammed by Democratic lawmakers, was first reported by The Washington Post.
Trump, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt they help the US economically,
The report said. Notably, Trump has been calling for merit-based immigration, of which people from countries like India could be a major beneficiary. Trump said this during a bipartisan meeting of lawmakers in his Oval Office.
"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people," said Raj Shah, the Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary without directly referring to Trump's comments.
Trump has been seeking to end temporary protection status of people from certain countries. 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." alleged Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez.