Trump pans immigration proposal as bringing people from ‘shithole countries’

Donald Trump described El Salvador, Haiti and certain African nations, as “shithole” countries during a meeting with lawmakers on Thursday, according to a report.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, after being presented with a proposal to restore protections for immigrants from those countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to the Washington Post, citing aides briefed on the meeting.

The president wondered aloud why the US would not instead want to bring people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he had met with the day before.

In a statement, the White House did not deny the president’s remarks, deferring to Trump’s nationalistic view of immigration.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” said Raj Shah, a White House spokesman.

He added that 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”.

Congressional lawmakers met at the White House on Thursday to discuss a proposal reached by a bipartisan group of senators. Those in attendance included Senators Lindsey Graham, David Perdue and Dick Durbin, the only Democrat invited, as well as congressman Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, Bob Goodlatte and Mario Diaz-Balart.

Trump’s comments reportedly left lawmakers taken aback.

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Lauren Gambino