Trump says some immigrants are from ‘shithole’ countries, rejects immigration deal: reports
WARNING: This report contains explicit subject matter.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump asked senators.
At the time, Trump was discussing the potential deal with a team of senators that would have restored protections for immigrants from Haiti, African countries and El Salvador, the Washington Post and others report.
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The conversation began with the chamber’s No. 2 Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois, explaining how a lottery for visas that has benefited people from Africa and other nations would be ended, though there might be some other way for them to apply.
Durbin suggested that people who fled to the U.S. after disasters hit their homes in places including El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti, would be allowed to stay.
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The Post writes that the deal would have restored protections for countries no longer covered under the temporary protected status program and provided an additional US$1.5 billion for a border wall.
Two people briefed on the meeting anonymously told the Washington Post that Trump then suggested the U.S. should bring more people from countries like Norway. One day earlier, Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited the White House.
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Reports from CNN state that Trump rejected the pitch for a compromised immigration deal, which was presented by the team of senators as a middle ground to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients while strengthening border security.
The senators had hoped Trump would back their accord, ending a months-long, bitter dispute over protecting “Dreamers.” But the White House later rejected their proposed agreement, plunging the issue back into uncertainty just eight days before a deadline that threatens a government shutdown.
The DACA program is set to end in early March, while the deadline for reaching an agreement on government spending is fast approaching on Jan.19.
The Trump administration removed protection status for El Salvadorans earlier this week, putting over 200,000 people at risk of deportation. The administration also announced late last year that it would end a temporary residency program that allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the U.S., following a devastating earthquake in 2010.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah responded to the allegations in a statement sent to NBC, saying that, “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people.”
“He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway,” Shah continued.
NBC claims that the statement did not deny that Trump made these remarks.
With files from the Associated Press.
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