WASHINGTON - During a White House meeting on immigration Thursday, President Trump reportedly used a derogatory term to describe countries such as Haiti and El Salvador.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" he said, according to the Washington Post.
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The president was referring to African countries as well as Haiti and El Salvador during the discussion over bipartisan proposal to restore protections for immigrants.
Trump made the remark after Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin told Trump that under the proposal, a lottery for visas would be ended. Durbin said that in exchange, people from African countries that have benefited from that lottery would be given other access to visas.
The White House is not denying that Trump used the profanity.
Spokesman Raj Shah says in a statement that while "Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries," Trump "will always fight for the American people."
He says Trump wants to welcome immigrants who "contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation," and will always reject "temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures" that he says "threaten the lives of hardworking Americans" and undercut other immigrants.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced it would remove immigration protection for citizens of El Salvador.
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