Trump has been accused of using the word “shithole” to describe African countries during a meeting in which a bipartisan group of six senators joined the president in the Oval Office for a discussion on protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries.
Several people briefed on the meeting told The Washington Post that Trump said “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump also said in the meeting that he would prefer immigrants from countries like Norway instead.
The United Nations human rights office rejected President Trump’s words as “racist” and inciting xenophobia. U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a Geneva news briefing that:
“These are shocking and shameful comments from the President of the United States. There is no other word one can use but ‘racist,'” He continues, “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes,’ whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome. It’s about opening the door to humanity’s worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy the lives of many people.”
The White House did not deny that the President made the derogatory comments but instead it released a statement saying that: “The president will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration—two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country.”
“Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”
“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.”
People briefed on the meeting said that a potential deal had been reached between Republicans and Democrats present at the meeting. The reported deal included $1.5 billion in funding for a border wall and drastic reductions in the visa lottery program.
According to the Post, in the meeting, they also discussed restoring Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for Salvadorans, Haitians and Nicaraguans whose legal status were revoked by the Trump administration recently.