President Donald Trump on Thursday questioned why the U.S. should allow more immigrants from “shithole countries” after senators discussed revamping rules affecting entrants from Africa and Haiti, according to three people briefed on the conversation. A sampling of reaction to Trump’s remark:
“President Trump’s comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views. It also reinforces the concerns that we hear every day, that the President’s slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again.” — Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments. Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin.” — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Trump’s comments are “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values. This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation.” — Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, whose family came from Haiti.
“The United States’ position as a moral leader throughout the world has been thoroughly damaged by the continuous lowbrow, callous and unfiltered racism repeatedly espoused by President Trump. His decision to use profanity to describe African, Central American and Caribbean countries is not only a low mark for this president, it is a low point for our nation.” — Statement from the NAACP.
“President Trump has been consistently honest about the white nationalism behind his immigration policies. His latest salvo is directly contrary to the decision Congress made in 1965 to do away with the racist per-country quotas of the past and bring our immigration policies in line with the civil rights era.” — Lorella Praeli, American Civil Liberties Union director of immigration policy and campaigns.
“Immigrants from countries across the globe — including and especially those from Haiti and all parts of Africa — have helped build this country. They should be welcomed and celebrated, not demeaned and insulted.” — Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
“We can now we say with 100% confidence that the President is a racist who does not share the values enshrined in our Constitution or Declaration of Independence.” — Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.
“He’s demonstrated himself to be unfit, unknowledgeable about the history of this country and the history of contributions that immigrants, particularly Haitian immigrants, have made to this country.” — Illinois state Sen. Kwame Raoul, whose Haitian parents who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1950s.
“He’s trying to win me back.” — Conservative commentator Ann Coulter.