Haitian, religious communities reject President Trump’s comments

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BRIDGEPORT -

President Trump’s alleged comment on acceptance of immigrants from Haiti and “s***hole countries” in Africa is receiving backlash from members of Connecticut’s Haitian and religious communities.

The comment came as President Trump rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the Oval Office conversation.

MORE: Trump: Why allow immigrants from ‘s***hole countries’

Rev. Sara Smith of the United Congregational Church in Bridgeport says President Trump's words go against everything she preaches to her very diverse church group.

"We ought to be doing the exact opposite,” she said. “Lift people up, celebrate the humanity of us, celebrate the diversity of us. The Haitian-American culture is beautiful, and they bring great gifts to our country."

As a religious leader, she says she works very closely with Haitian-Americans and has even visited the country.

Rev. Smith says President Trump's words do not reflect America as a country or what it stands for.

"We all came to this country, we all made it great,” said Pascale Millien-Faustin, of the Haitian Women Association of Connecticut. “And really our community is the backbone of this nation. Because the African-Americans built the country - where he is sitting now.”

To further address immigration issues including DACA and TPS, or temporary protection status, Pascale says there will be a meeting  in Norwalk on Jan. 26 at Town Hall. She says attorneys, state and local representatives will be there to answer questions.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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