US President Donald Trump reportedly asked why so many people from “s***hole countries” like El Salvador, Haiti and specific African nations come to the US. The resulting outrage could wreck bipartisan immigration reform.
Trump reportedly became furious during a meeting at the White House Thursday when Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) proposed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to the Washington Post.
The group of senators reportedly agreed to cut the visa lottery program by 50 percent and restore Temporary Protected Status to immigrants from countries facing natural disasters or civil strife.
“Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the Post. He reportedly suggested the US should take in more immigrants from countries like Norway instead.
Many social media users immediately condemned Trump’s comments as racist, including several Democratic lawmakers.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) went on MSNBC to say Trump’s comments “smack of blatant racism – odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy.”
“He does not speak for me as an American,” Blumenthal added.
Rep. Mia Love (D-Utah), who was born to Haitian parents, said Trump’s comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”
“My parents came from one of those countries, took an oath of allegiance to it, and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with,” Love said in a statement.
The Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana) said Trump’s comments were “further proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda.”
Author Philip Mudd, ex-deputy director of the CIA’s Counter-terrorist Center and the FBI’s National Security Branch, went on CNN Thursday to denounce Trump’s remarks as racist, calling himself a “proud s***holer.”
A number of celebrities branded Trump “President s***hole,” or some variation on this theme.