NEWARK, N.J. — Dozens stood on the steps of Newark City Hall Thursday in a rally calling for unity against the President’s “racist” remarks and policies.
Starting today, Haitians can no longer get temporary work visas. This comes after President Trump was accused of making a vulgar remark in an Oval Office meeting on immigration when Haiti, El Salvador and African countries were discussed.
“Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?” Trump is accused of stating. The President denies this comment. Senator Dick Durbin, a democrat from Illinois, reported the statement to the press.
"Hearing Trump say those things, it hurts me,” said Jessica Latonnelle, who heard about the alleged comment on the news. "I felt so humiliated, I was crying.”
Latonnelle immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti when she was 16. Her father works as an uber driver and her mother is a nurse. Her parents are working to help put her through college. She is studying to be a doctor.
"When we come here, we do work hard,” she said. "We go to school. Our parents work hard to send us to school so our dreams come true.”
Trump responded to reports about the comment on twitter, he said: “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country…Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians.”
Following this news, the Department of Homeland Security published in the federal register today an announcement that removes Haiti from the list of countries that are eligible for visas called the H-2A agricultural and H-2B non-agricultural temporary work permits. This comes in the wake of the administration’s decision to end temporary protected status for almost 60,000 who have been working here since the earthquake in 2010.
In Newark, outraged lawmakers decried Trump’s remarks and actions.
"We will not let a racist president divide us!” yelled out Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. "The president of the United States is racist!”
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also slammed the administration. He accused the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of being complicit because she would not respond to questions about what exactly the President said in the meeting.
"I have been very patient with this line of questioning" she said. "I have nothing further to say about a meeting that happened over a week ago. I'd like to move forward and discuss ways in which we can protect our country.”
Booker was furious.
“The commander in chief in an Oval Office meeting referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most vile and vulgar language, that language festers. When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity," Booker said.