When President Trump characterized the home countries of immigrants from Central America, Africa and Haiti as "s***holes," it hurt Bernard Georges, who is an American citizen born in Haiti.
“It makes me ill,” he told NBC 10 News. “I couldn’t sleep. This is very embarrassing."
Georges worries that it will create bullying of young people in school who have Haitian backgrounds. He also said he feels it is insulting to the people who came here for better lives.
Georges and his brothers have advanced degrees and he said they are examples of immigrant success.
“Without immigrants, without the contribution of immigrants, America would not be America today,” he said.
Gabriela Domenzain from the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University also believes the country needs the people who come here from developing countries, as it has in past generations.
“This country is what it is because of the revitalization that Italians, Irish, Haitians, Liberians provide," she said. "Just in Rhode Island alone, immigrants contribute over half a billion dollars a year in taxes. They make up over 15 percent of the workforce.”
As far as the status of some of these poor countries, Domenzain said the U.S. helped create the poverty that has driven so many to seek a better life here.
“It is a flow that we have to take responsibility for because of the decades of coups and instability that the United states and other countries have made sure doesn’t change, don’t change in those countries,” she said.
Georges said the hurt from Trump’s comment is worsened by the fact that today is the eighth anniversary of the deadly earthquake in Haiti that killed hundreds of thousands of people. He believes the sentiment expressed by the President is unworthy of the tradition of his new country.
“Without immigrants, without the contribution of immigrants, America would not be America today," he said.