(CBS) – Chicago’s Haitian-American community is pushing back against President Trump’s reported disparaging remarks about immigrant populations.
In a widely reported conversation this week with lawmakers, Trump referred to African nations and Haiti as “sh**hole” countries. The president was discussing immigration reforms and reportedly expressed disdain about having to take some populations.
Chicago has a Haitian-American population estimated at 50,000.
“I really think it’s a disgrace, coming from the office of the presidency, from the greatest country in the world,” Marie Lynn Toussaint of Evanston tells CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole.
“That is not acceptable,” adds Henry-Claude Acacia.
Immigrant Daniel Desir, who runs a restaurant, is worried that Trump’s remarks could negatively influence other people and their perceptions about newcomers.
Also taking issue with Trump’s reported remarks was state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, an attorney general candidate who is the son of Haitian immigrants. Raoul notes that the founder of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, was a Haitian.
Trump has denied using the expletive “sh**hole” and says he does not dislike Haitians.
But U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who was at the meeting, insists the Republican president used the vulgar term.