WASHINGTON, D.C: US President Donald Trump on Sunday (Monday in Manila) said the immigration deal “is probably dead” as he vehemently denied that he was a racist, after his vulgar disparagement of African countries and Haiti complicated a bipartisan deal on immigration.
Trump appeared to give up for dead an immigration deal, coming back on the issue in a pair of early morning tweets three days after reportedly referring to African and Haitian immigrants as coming from “shithole countries,” triggering global condemnation.
“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it,” Trump tweeted, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the heart of the immigration impasse.
“I’m not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed,” Trump told reporters at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he was having dinner with Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children—so-called “Dreamers”—face deportation unless a compromise can be reached that would grant them rights to stay.
A bipartisan deal to resolve the Dreamers issue in return for changes demanded by Republicans in the way visas are allocated collapsed in acrimony Thursday with Trump’s remarks, which were widely denounced as racist.
“I think this man, this president, is taking us back to another place,” John Lewis, a Georgia congressman who was on the front lines of the 1960s civil rights movement, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think he is a racist.”
‘Defend the indefensible’
Senator David Purdue, a Republican from Georgia, called charges that Trump is racist “ridiculous” and his reported remarks a “gross misrepresentation” of the White House meeting on immigration.
But other Republicans, pained by the turn of events, spoke out against the president as debate over the slur spilled into Sunday television talk shows.
By Agence France-Prese for THE MANILA TIMES
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