Assemblywoman Solages: Trump owes Haitians an apology

Assemblywoman Solages: Trump owes Haitians an apology
Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages said President Donald Trump owes Haitians an apology after he allegedly called Haiti and other nations "s---hole countries." (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

On the eighth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, state Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages had a message for President Donald Trump, who recently allegedly called Haiti, El Salvador and some African Nations “shithole countries.”

“What the president said was ignorant and intolerable,” Solages, the first Hatian-American elected to the state Assembly, said at a press conference on Friday at the Central American Refugee Center. “And he owes the citizens of Haiti, Nigeria, El Salvador and all the [temporary protected status] countries an apology.”

The president’s alleged comments were made during a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday with lawmakers regarding how to protect immigrants from these nations, first reported in The Washington Post.

Trump denies he said those words.

“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”

Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages, the first Hatian-American elected to the county Legislature, said Trump’s alleged remarks prove that his campaign slogan of “Make America great again,” really translates to “Make America white again.”

During the same meeting, White House officials said Trump said the United States should accept more immigrants from countries such as Norway, as reported in The Washington Post.

Carrié Solages said he’s asking everyone not to condone Trump’s alleged statements or justify them by saying “Oh, he said that for economic reasons, or he said that because those countries are poor.”

“We must call them for what they are,” Carrié Solages said. “And those are racist statements.”

Carrié Solages said there is a legal solution to this problem – the creation of an inspector general for immigration policy on the federal level.

Carrié Solages said he has given a letter asking all of the federal representatives in the state, including Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Tom Suozzi and Rep. Kathleen Rice to support the decision for Congress to create this position.

“The president has proved himself to be biased and incapable and unfit in being impartial,” Carrié Solages said.

In a statement, Rep. Suozzi called the president’s comments “awful, inappropriate, unpresidential, irresponsible and demoralizing to so many people.”

In relation to Trump’s remarks, Rep. Rice simply tweeted “Racist.”

Anthony Scaramucci, a Port Washington native and Manhasset resident who was briefly White House communications director last year, tweeted that Trump is far from racist.

It wasn’t just Haitians attacked in Trump’s alleged statements, and it wasn’t just the Hatian-American Long Island community who united to denounce the remarks.

Members of the Nigerian and Salvadoran communities represented their communities at the press conference.

Maryse Emmanuel-Garcy, a community organizer with Haitian American Family of Long Island, said that “enough is enough.”

“I refuse to hear somebody tell me maybe he meant this and that,” said Emmanuel-Garcy, who came to the United States 48 years ago. “Growing up here on Long Island I know what it is when racist is at the door.”

Emmanuel-Garcy said she is calling on elected officials to get to know the Hatian-American community better and not to just “use us when you need votes.”

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