How lawmakers in immigration meeting responded to Trump's comments

Erika Holt
January 14, 2018

- Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement in response to racist remarks made this week by President Trump during bipartisan immigration discussions at the White House.

The Democrats are all talk and no action.

Trump was widely derided previous year after twice referring to Namibia as "Nambia" at the September meeting.

In recent days, a group of Republican and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate have met with the stated goal of crafting an alternative to the Senate bipartisan deal.

Only this time, the ensuing blow-up is raising the risk of a government shutdown that could come as soon as the end of the coming week.

In the current case of Haiti and certain African countries, where U.S. immigration policy is taking its cue from Trumps ignorant and racist opinions, Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean have an acute responsibility to denounce Trumps vile language and well-documented attitudes.

White House officials defend the role of Trump aide.

An avid golfer, Mr Trump is said to disdain other forms of exercise and prefer only a few hours of sleep a night.

Trump, who vacillated between more moderate proposals on Tuesday and a hard-line stance by Thursday, further derailed the negotiations with a vulgar insult to immigrants from certain countries.

Haiti said it was shocked by Trump's reported remarks on Thursday and summoned the top United States diplomat in the country, asking for an apology if the vulgar term had been used. Richard Durbin of IL, the lone Democrat present in the Oval Office at the time, said Trump's denial was false and the president had said things that were "hate-filled, vile and racist". Although it is being taken as a denial of the "sh*thole" comment, Mr. Trump did not specifically reference that phrase in his denial. Trump on Saturday tweeted blame for Democrats "doing nothing to fix DACA", claiming they do not really want a deal.

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The president is spending the weekend at his club in Florida.

"It (had) better go well, otherwise the stock market will not be happy", he quipped. "Is America great again yet?"

Trump's mercurial approach has flummoxed lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the immigration debate, leaving stakeholders unsure about where he stands.

"Chain migration" as a term is offensive, Durbin said he told the president.

When word got out, Trump rose to his own defense immediately, tweeting: "The language used by me in the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used".

"How is that possible?" she asked of Trump's so-called "wonderful relationship" with her community.

Trump a year ago ended DACA, which provided young immigrants with protection from deportation along with the ability to work legally in the U.S. He gave Congress until March to come up with a legislative fix.

Lindsey Graham (S.C.), also present, reportedly confirmed the report privately. At the time, the doctor said Mr. Trump was 6 foot 3 and 236 pounds, which qualifies him as overweight and almost obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, and Rep. Robert Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia - have not made public comments.

"Overweight and obesity increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol", said Dr. Ranit Mishori, professor of family medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine who was not involved in the president's care.

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