MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two republican members of Congress from South Florida and the states GOP governor have come out against President Donald Trump for his profane comments about several countries, including Haiti.
Late Thursday afternoon The Washington Post released the president’s comments from a meeting on immigration.
“Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the Post, which cited two people briefed on the Thursday Oval Office meeting with lawmakers.
When lawmakers in the meeting floated restoring Temporary Protected Status for some immigrants, Trump grew frustrated and shocked the lawmakers with his “s***hole” comment in reference to African countries and Haiti, according to the Post.
Governor Rick Scott is a trump ally but quickly denounced the president’s remarks.
“If this report is true, it is absolutely wrong to say or think this,” the governor’s statement read. “I do not think this way, nor do I agree with this kind of sentiment. I represent Florida, and we are an amazing melting pot where over 250 languages are spoken.
“I work every day to make this the most welcoming state for everyone – Haitians, Cubans, Venezuelans, and others from all around the world that call Florida home. I’m incredibly proud of our diversity.”
In addition to the criticism from the governor, Congress members Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen had strong words for the president.
“The statements of the president are reprehensible, they’re racist, they’re totally incorrect,” Ros-Lehtinen told CBS4. “Talking about Haiti saying it’s a s*** country, it fits a pattern of racist statements. This is a man who made his name in the political world doubting Obama’s citizenship, saying he was born in kenya, and started his campaign saying Mexicans are rapists and criminals, banning all Muslims temporarily from the U.S., slow to condemn racists like David Duke, in Charlottesville when there was white racists against other folks he was saying there was blame on both sides. No there wasn’t.”
Meanwhile, Curbelo took to Twitter to voice his opinion.
This is an issue that hits home for a lot of people in South Florida.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, the United States has the largest Haitian population outside Haiti.
In Florida, we have the largest Haitian population within the U.S.
An estimated 80,000 Haitian people are in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, each, while Palm Beach County has another estimated 56,000.
The Obama administration first granted “temporary protected status” to Haitians after the nation was ravaged by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
President Trump announced that protected status would end in July of 2019.