Since Donald Trump assumed office, it’s been one scandal after another, fiasco followed by fiasco. Especially on the world scale, Donald Trump is a dangerous embarrassment. Every time he opens his mouth, he angers the international community, alienates our allies, and undermines the United States abroad.
Recently, a report in the Washington Post stated that when presented with a possible bipartisan immigration deal that included protections for refugees already in the states, Trump grew angry. He said, “Why are we having all of these people from shithole countries come here?” Instead, he suggested, we should have immigrants come from countries like Norway.
Now, in a statement, the White House has essentially confirmed that’s an actual thing Trump said and thinks. Note the complete lack of denial in the nonresponse below, which comes from Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah:
— Stefan Becket (@becket) January 11, 2018
‘Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. 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 lie in the United States through a legal pathway.’
Of course, the stability and political situation in a country says nothing about the individuals who come here. Trump recently rescinded protections for hundreds of thousands of refugees who came here for various reasons, such as war or natural disasters in their home countries. Those refugees largely come from Haiti, El Salvador and various African countries.
In order for Norway to be a valid comparison, it would have to have a massive earthquake or civil war, followed by a humanitarian crisis. After that, we would have to accept them as refugees. Then, years later, that protection would have to be rescinded for no reason. After rescinding that protection, an immigration deal reenabling it would have to be brought to the president. That is the only way the comparison becomes valid. Until then, it’s just racist. The reality is that Norwegians can immigrate to the United States just like anybody else. Why would they want to? Norway is a socialist democracy and one of the happiest nations in the world.
The reality of the situation is this: Many of the refugees Trump is ignorantly referring to are productive members of American society. They and their children attend our schools, pay taxes, and own businesses. They commit crimes at a lower rate than native citizens. In fact, the only difference between them and “immigrants from Norway” is their skin color, making it transparently obvious what the Trump administration’s opposition to them is in relation to. In reality, they are valuable additions to our nation and we should be proud to have them here—and help them work toward citizenship.
They’re also refugees who came here legally. Trump’s desire to deport them is entirely unrelated to how they got into the country. There is no reason to remove them, nor is the situation in their home countries safe enough for them to return. The need for legislation to protect them, and their inclusion in an immigration deal, is a false dilemma created by the Trump administration for two reasons. One, to feed the racist core of the Republican Party. Two, to give a bargaining chip to use against Democrats in order to pass draconian immigration policies and get the pointless wall built.
‘President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they floated restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to two people briefed on the meeting.
‘“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to African countries and Haiti. He then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met Wednesday.’
Immigrants are what made America great. America is a nation defined by successive waves of immigrants, and that’s a part of our national identity. Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about what it means to be an American. He should deport himself.
Social media users reacted to the statement with incredulity and scorn:
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images