Haitian ambassador Paul Altidor (pictured) criticized Trump after it emerged the US President described the island nation as a ‘s***hole’
Haiti’s ambassador to the US has hit back at President Trump after he reportedly described the island nation as a ‘s***hole’ country.
Ambassador Paul Altidor said in an interview with NBC News that Trump’s remarks were ‘based on stereotypes’ and he was either ‘misinformed’ or ‘miseducated’.
President Trump, frustrated with America’s continued responsibility for immigrants fleeing Third World natural disasters, asked members of Congress Thursday in vulgar terms why the United States had to shoulder such a burden.
‘Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?’ Trump said, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting and then leaked the comment to The Washington Post.
Altidor called on Trump to clarify his remarks. The Haitian ambassador added later that he had formally requested an explanation from US officials.
‘Haitians fought along U.S. soldiers in the Revolutionary War and we continue to be great contributors to American society,’ said Altidor, an economist who attended college US.
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NBC’s Yamiche Alcindor took to Twitter to describe his interview with the Haitian diplomat
He confirmed Altidor had officially requested an explanation from US officials
NBC’s Yamiche Alcindor took to Twitter to describe his interview with the Haitian diplomat.
He said: ‘I just talked to Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States Paul Altidor who said he and the Haitian government ‘vehemently condemn’ President Trump’s comments which they believe are ‘based on stereotypes.’
‘Haiti’s US Ambassador Paul Altidor tells me Haiti’s government has formerly summoned a US official to explain Trump’s comments to Haiti’s officials.’
Trump was reportedly speaking about Haitians and citizens of various African nations.
‘Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,’ he told people in the meeting, according to CNN.
Instead, he said, the U.S. should seek to assimilate people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met with a day earlier.
Altidor has formally requested an explanation from US officials, saying Trump’s remarks were ‘based on stereotypes’ and he was either ‘misinformed’ or ‘miseducated’. Pictured: Haiti after Hurricane Matthew which devastated the island in 2016
There are approximately 436,900 people with such ‘Temporary Protected Status’ living in the U.S. from 10 countries. Haitians and Nicaraguans have already been told their protection is ending
Altidor also mentioned Haiti’s longstanding relations with the US – pointing out that that volunteers from the Caribbean fought on American soil during the Revolutionary War.
CNN reported that the outburst came at the private Oval Office meeting as Democratic senator Dick Durbin outlined a bipartisan immigration deal put together by six senators which they took to Trump for backing.
Dick Durbin, the Democratic senator who is minority whip, was outlining his proposal in which the visa lottery system, of which Trump has been a fierce critic, would be ended in return for ‘temporary protected status’, known as TPS, resuming for El Salvador and Haiti.
Trump has moved to end it for immigrants from those countries but as Durbin went through a list of countries which would gain TPS under the deal, he reached Haiti and ‘Trump asked why the US wants more people from Haiti and African countries’, CNN reported.
Haiti’s government came out late Thursday and said they ‘vehemently condemn’ Trump’s comments in relation to their country.
There are approximately 436,900 people with such ‘Temporary Protected Status’ living in the U.S. from 10 countries – South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria, Haiti, Nepal and Yemen.
Haitians and Nicaraguans have already been told their protection is ending.
The Trump administration said this week that it was also removing the protection for Salvadoran nationals who have been allowed to reside in the U.S. since a pair of earthquakes struck their country in 2001.
The Haitians were fleeing an equally devastating 2010 earthquake.
IMMIGRATION FROM HAITI, AND EL SALVADOR, WHICH TRUMP CALLED ‘S***HOLES’
Until November, Haitians had ‘temporary protected status’, or TPS, which means hey are not subject to removal even if they have no other legal status.
It was introduced after the devastating 2010 earthquake, which shattered the country and killed 230,000 people.
But that status is ending, with the change to take effect on July 22 2019, which will force all Haitians who have the status to either find a legal way to stay or face deportation.
The total number of people affected is estimated at 46,000 but that may be a significant under-estimate.
Already large numbers of Haitians have fled to Canada, generating a mini-crisis there last year as it dealt with arrivals at its border crossings.
Haiti, however, is itself in bad shape. It is by far the poorest country in the Americas, and rated 209th poorest country in the world, out of 230 in total, putting it below Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
Unemployment is 40 per cent, and less than a third of the workforce have formal jobs, while the economy is still recovering from the latest massive natural disaster, Hurricane Mathtew, which hit in 2016.
Other statistics are also appalling: illiteracy is as high as 40 per cent, average per capita income has been estimated at $400 per person, and even though the country’s debt was canceled in 2010, it has already reached more than $2 billion, mostly owed to Venezuela.
A mass arrival of tens of thousands from the U.S. would be doubly bad news, economists say, as there are no jobs for them and the cash from remittances which they sent has become a key part of the economy.
El Salvadorans have had TPS since 2001, when an earthquake similar to Haiti’s hit an already troubled country.
It had never truly recovered from the 12-year-long civil war which started in 1980 and killed an estimated 75,000, and January 2001’s earthquake and the mudslides it triggered caused more havoc.
The death toll was less than 1,000, but up to a quarter of a million homes and buildings were destroyed or damaged and the country lost half its economic output.
In total, an estimated 250,000 El Salvadorans are in the U.S. on TPS, compared to a population of 6.1 million – making their remittances once of the key sources of foreign cash. In total remittances from all emigrants account for a fifth of its gross domestic product.
Compared to Haiti, El Salvador is far wealthier, ranking 143rd in the world on wealth, and literacy rates are far higher, but it is scarred by gang crime which makes it one of the world’s most dangerous places.
There were 81.2 murders for every 100,000 people in 2016, the highest casualty rate outside a war zone anywhere in the world. In 2016, there were 5,200 murders.
In comparison, the U.S. had 17,25 murders in 2016, a rate of 5.3 per 100,000. The rate in Norway – where Trump welcome arrivals from – was 0.6 per 100,000 in 2015.
The most notorious in the U.S. is MS-13, which ironically originated in Los Angeles, as did its rival M-18.
Their bitter rivalry fueled the murder rate and also overshadows the criminal justice system, with police constantly in the crossfire.