What the President’s vulgar immigration comments could mean diplomatically

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) President Donald Trump continues to face backlash after the vulgar comments he’s accused of making during an immigration meeting with lawmakers. Dr. Gregory Jackson a professor of integrated studies at Utah Valley University, joined Emily Clark to weigh in on what this could mean diplomatically.

Last week, President Trump asked, “why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?” during a closed-door, bi-partisan meeting. In context of the conversation, the comment was largely in reference to El Salvador, the Caribbean nation of Haiti, and nations in Africa.

President Trump followed this question by stating the United States should get more immigrants from countries like Norway. Taken together, the President’s vulgar description of countries with predominately black populations, followed by praise for a predominately white populated country, has resulted in many US and global leaders calling him a racist.

While some Republican leaders are now saying they can’t recall whether the President really made the remark, others, like Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, are not letting the President off the hook. “My memory hasn’t evolved,” the Senator said.

Some influential Utahans have expressed their dismay. Utah’s Republican, HaitianAmerican,
4th district Congresswoman Mia Love, denounced President Trump harshly, saying that his words are: “divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.” On Monday, which was also Martin Luther King Day, Mitt Romney tweeted: “the sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent w/America’s history and antithetical to American values.”

Criticism has also come from across the globe, including the United Nations, the Vatican, and individual nations. The African Union–which includes 55 countries–called President Trump’s words, “clearly racist.” Around the world, US diplomats received harsh words from the foreign leaders and heads of state. These relationships are important to US interests
abroad, especially in Africa, where the United States is fighting growing terrorism.

Some of President Trump’s critics have pointed out that is not his first racially charged remark. For instance, while running for office in 2015, then Candidate Trump described
Mexicans as “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

For more on national security, and what the students in integrated studies are doing at Utah Valley University, visit UVU.edu.

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