During a meeting with lawmakers on Thursday, Donald Trump reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and certain African countries as “shithole” nations.
The Washington Post reported Trump’s remarks, who said: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
A statement from The White House did not deny the quote but instead outlined the US President’s stance on immigration.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” said a spokesman. “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.”
“[Trump 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.”
Following the remarks, a spokesperson from the UN said the language used by Trump was “racist”.
“There is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome,” said UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville.
Trump’s comments have been received with shock and anger across the world.
Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice,” said a spokesperson from The African Union.
“This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.”
The last time Trump publicly referred to Africa was when we made up a new country, ‘Nambia’ while addressing African leaders in Washington.