- President Donald Trump on Friday defended using “tough”
language at an immigration meeting.
- But he seemed to deny reports from Thursday that he
described Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shithole
- Trump called a bipartisan bill from lawmakers that
sought to extend protection for some young immigrants living in
the US illegally “outlandish.”
- Trump has consistently taken a hard line
President Donald Trump on Friday defended using “tough” language
at a meeting on immigration but seemed to deny multiple reports
he had described Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shithole countries.”
Trump met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday to
discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the
plan set to expire in March that has shielded some young
unauthorized immigrants from deportation. Shortly afterward,
multiple outlets cited sources as saying Trump used the profanity
during the meeting.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this
was not the language used,” Trump tweeted Friday. “What was
really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for
He added in a follow-up tweet that he “never said anything
derogatory” about Haitians and suggested he should record future
meetings with lawmakers.
“Never said ‘take them out,'” he said. “Made up by Dems. I have a
wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record
future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
Trump’s Friday tweets did not directly address the specific
language he was reported to have used in the meeting, during
which he is believed to have questioned why the US should accept
immigrants from Haiti and Africa and could not accept more from
places like Norway.
The differing standards for mostly black and mostly white
countries provoked a visceral response on Thursday. Observers
around the world condemned the comment, with the UN’s human-rights body saying
“there is no other word one can use but ‘racist'” to describe it.
Also in early-morning tweets Friday, Trump twice blasted the
Thursday immigration meeting as a step backward for DACA.
The proposal made by a bipartisan group of lawmakers that Trump
dismissed as “outlandish” would offer a pathway to citizenship
for those protected by DACA, but only after at least 10 years, a
source familiar with the negotiations told Business Insider.
It would also begin to change the way the US approaches
family-based immigration — sometimes referred to as “chain
migration” — by offering three-year, renewable work permits to
the parents of DACA recipients but making them ineligible to be
sponsored for citizenship.
Trump has attacked chain immigration in the
past, especially since news emerged that the suspect in a
bombing in a New York City subway hub had entered the country
through the program.
Trump has also given conflicting signals about DACA, as Trump has
encouraged lawmakers to codify the program even as his
administration has moved to end it.
In September, Trump struck a deal with Democratic congressional
leaders to avert a government shutdown in a meeting that was
widely reported to have included talk of bolstering DACA, much to
the dismay of Republican immigration hardliners.
But on Friday, Trump appeared game to relitigate that battle,
suggesting a possible government shutdown and US military funding
could be used in negotations over an immigration deal.