Local immigrant advocacy group accuses Trump of "racism"
The Arkansas United Community Coalition did not mince words on Friday when it responded to reports by Senator Dick Durbin that President Trump described African nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting about immigration with lawmakers.
"He showed downright racism. He showed disrespect., and obviously, this is someone who doesn't understand or appreciate equality and the values that every country, every community brings not just to this country but to the whole world," said AUCC Executive Director Mireya Reith.
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton was in the room when the reported comment took place, but he and another senator said in a statement that they did not recall the exact language the President used.
“President Trump brought everyone to the table this week and listened to both sides. But regrettably, it seems that not everyone is committed to negotiating in good faith. In regards to Senator Durbin’s accusation, we do not recall the President saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest. We, along with the President, are committed to solving an issue many in Congress have failed to deliver on for decades.”
However, Reith says she does not accept Cotton's lapse in memory and is calling on him to denounce the President's language.
"Our call to Senator Tom Cotton as it is to all of Arkansas' senators and congressmen, we need them to be honest and direct and recognize what President Trump said and that it was wrong and then we need to bring that into the conversation about immigration reform," said Reith.