By: Lanetra Bennett | Eyewitness News
January 12, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- President Donald Trump's recent remarks in reference to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries have been drawing widespread condemnation.
Some people in our community say they weren't surprised. But, many of them find the president's comment offensive.
The problem many have is not only with what he said, but how he said it, and the expletive he used.
Jebojada Jean-Baptiste says growing up, he was looked down on because he's Haitian.
Now, to hear remarks from President Donald Trump is disheartening.
"Trump's statement is rather derogatory. I find it a bit disrespectful," Jean-Baptiste said.
Asia Islami's parents are Albanian immigrants from Macedonia.
"My dad's a hard worker. He works just as hard as any other American. He's a U.S. citizen, so is my mother now. They work hard and they pay their taxes. They do their due diligence," she said.
Therefore, when it comes to some of Trump's views on immigrants, Islami said, "I don't agree."
Tallahassee resident Alexia Clark, said, "I think that it's very ignorant depending on the fact that the country is literally built on the backs of African Americans, Haitians, and immigrants such as what Trump mentioned. You can't really say, why do we keep letting them in, when we were the people that built this country."
"I feel like everybody should have the same opportunities as he. Those people are trying to find better countries to prosper in. Who are we to stop them. Definitely, the way he said on top of what he said, was the icing on the cake. It was disrespectful," said Craig Mitchell, a Tallahassee resident.
During his keynote speech at FAMU's Dr. Martin Luther King Convocation Friday, Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump said, "To say that on the eve of Martin Luther King weekend, the audacity."
Crump continued, "All of us who come from those countries that our president talked about are excelling with our education and getting J.D.s, Ph.Ds, bachelor degrees. So, it is a direct contradiction to what the president said."
Jean-Baptiste did say he's trying to look at Trump's remarks as "just words." He points out the president does have the freedom of speech.
By: Kathryn Watson | CBS News
January 11, 2018
President Trump questioned why the U.S. is accepting people from "sh*thole" countries, when lawmakers suggested bringing back legal protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as a part of a broader immigration deal, CBS News' Nancy Cordes confirms, citing a person briefed on the meeting.
"Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?" the president said in the Thursday afternoon Oval Office meeting with a handful of members of the House and Senate. "We should bring in more people from places like Norway," he added. Norway's prime minister visited the White House Wednesday. The Trump administration recently decided to soon end Temporary Protected Status for citizens of countries like Haiti and El Salvador, who came to the U.S. to escape natural disasters.
The comments came about after Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, was describing for the president which countries with the protected status would be protected under the diversity visa program. Durbin threw out a few examples, including Haiti, and the president asked why the U.S. would want all those people from Haiti. A little later, when the group was discussing the visa lottery program, and African immigrants were mentioned, the president asked, why Africa? This led to his "sh*thole" comment.
The Washington Post first reported Mr. Trump's remarks. The comments shocked some lawmakers present, according to the Washington Post.
The White House did not deny the president's reported remarks.
"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people," White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. "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."
The president was meeting with a handful of lawmakers to discuss how they might reach an immigration deal. Senators attending the meeting included Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas; David Perdue, R-Georgia, Dick Durbin, D-Illinois; and Reps. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida.
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said senators and the White House had not yet reached a deal, although a slightly different group of senators later said they had reached an "agreement in principle."