Rally held in Spring Valley against Trump's Haiti, Africa commentsPosted: Updated:
Lawmakers and members of the Haitian community rallied in Spring Valley Saturday to protest derogatory comments allegedly made by President Donald Trump about African nations and immigrants from Haiti during a private meeting at the White House Thursday.
Trump reportedly used vulgar language to reject an immigration bill, asking why the U.S. would take in more people from Haiti and "s***hole countries" in Africa.
State Sen. David Carlucci says Rockland County boasts one of the largest Haitian populations in the country, with more than 10,000 Haitians living in Spring Valley alone.
He says President Trump's alleged comments to "take them out," or remove those legally living in the United States with temporary protective status since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, would crush New York state, especially Rockland County.
On Friday, President Trump publicly denied saying anything inflammatory about Haiti. But local Haitians say they don't buy the president's line.
"It's hurtful but it doesn't faze me. I kind of expect it from a gentleman like him," says Schello Jean-Louis.
Local leaders say they want the president to apologize.
"No other leader around the world would ever make such a statement, and that statement to me by far has to be one of the most racial comments that any human being could ever make," says Spring Valley Village Board Trustee Eudson Tyson Francois.
The Trump administration announced last year it will end temporary protective status for the 60,000 Haitians living in the United States since the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Those Haitians will have to leave the country or face deportation by July 2019.