A Thursday Washington Post report set the media world ablaze when it reported President Donald Trump saying in immigration negotiations with congressional leaders:
Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
The president was specifically referring to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries and a proposal to restore protections to them.
The comments were made during a bipartisan meeting on immigration held at the White House Thursday afternoon. According to The Washington Post, lawmakers in the meeting were shocked at the president’s language.
The White House did not deny the president said this, but gave reporters this quote on the subject:The administration is currently negotiating a deal to give permanent legalization to illegal aliens who came to the United States.
In his response to the comments, Fox News host Tucker Carlson gave critics two choices in reference to the administration’s decision to send back 200,000 Salvadoran nationals residing in the United States.
The administration announced this week that it is ending a protections program for several Salvadorans currently living in the country.
According to The Intercept:
More than 262,000 Salvadorans currently have Temporary Protected Status or TPS in the U.S., allowing them to live and work in the country legally. Studies show that more than half of the Salvadoran beneficiaries, by far the largest group to receive TPS, have lived in the U.S. for 20 years or more, working jobs, paying taxes, and raising families — an estimated 192,700 American citizens are the children of Salvadoran TPS recipients.
President Trump reportedly complained during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigrants from “shithole” countries coming to America.
The Washington Post quoted Trump, based on a source who was in the meeting, saying:
The lawmakers in the meeting were Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin. The Post notes:
Graham and Durbin thought they would be meeting with Trump alone and were surprised to find immigration hard-liners such as Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), at the meeting. The meeting was impromptu and came after phone calls this morning, Capitol Hill aides said.
The administration is working on a bipartisan immigration deal which seeks to permanently implement DACA and establish robust border security. Protections for immigrants and the visa lottery will likely take a hit as part of the deal. The White House has indicated that a bipartisan deal has not been reached, but they are “hopeful” a deal will be brokered soon.
UPDATE: In a statement, the White House does not deny that the president said the above quote behind closed doors.