A group of six bipartisan senators forged an agreement that would offer a citizenship path for those brought to this country as children by undocumented parents. The deal included increased border security and was a way for Congress to avoid a painful and unnecessary government shutdown.
Instead of using that agreement as a turning point in the as-yet-intractable immigration debate, President Donald Trump opted to kick over the table. On Thursday, he questioned why the U.S. should accept immigrants from “shithole countries,” such as Haiti, El Salvador and the entire continent of Africa. Instead, he said, the U.S. should allow more immigrants from countries like Norway.
The contrast is as inescapable as it is hateful. Whatever his proclamations to the contrary, Trump signaled that he clearly prefers white immigrants to those of color. That is racist on its face. True to past practice, he now denies saying it. But senators in that meeting with the president have confirmed it, with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., praising the courage of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who he said spoke out against the remarks at the time. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a leader on the bipartisan talks, who also was present, called Trump’s remarks “abhorrent.”