FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – President Trump is getting backlash for comments he reportedly made in the oval office during a meeting about immigration. The comment degraded immigrants from Haiti and other African countries. Several lawmakers are calling it racist. A Fort Wayne man who was born in Haiti said the comments are concerning.
During a meeting in the Oval Office, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin proposed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, several other African countries and El Salvador.
The president reportedly interrupted Durbin and made a derogatory comment about those immigrants, and suggested the U.S. should bring in more people from places like Norway.
Trump took to twitter saying in part, “the language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough but this was not the language used.” Earlier Friday, the president signed a declaration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day and honored the Haitian people involved in the deadly earthquake on the 8th anniversary of the tragedy. He did not respond to questions regarding his alleged comments.
“To no surprise the president tweeted this morning, denying that he used those words,” said Durbin. “It is not true. He said those hateful things.”
Dr. Guy Crevecoeur said he is concerned about the impact those remarks will have on Haitian people across the country and beyond. He was born in Haiti, then came to the U.S. to attend high school, before going on to college, and medical school. He is now a plastic surgeon in Fort Wayne.
“I must admit it really hurt when I heard that,” said Crevecoeur. “In all Haitian communities they always emphasize the importance of education, discipline and respect for everybody. It is scary to think that people would perceive us in a threatening fashion. What’s more concerning is there may be other people who share the same sentiment.”
Crevecoeur said he has always had a positive experience in Fort Wayne. He has even traveling with several people to Haiti on a missionary trip following the earthquake that devastated Haiti. He hopes that people will continue supporting the country and its people.
“I do appreciate their support and I’d like to continue their support and not be distracted by any false messages that can be propagated about Haitian people,” he said.