Donald Trump probably thought his racist “shithole countries” remark from earlier this year would stay in the closed-door meeting that was being held at the White House, but it has re-emerged in a San Francisco courtroom—and could be used against him in a lawsuit over his bigoted decision to end immigration protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants of color.
Judge Edward Chen cited the remark during a hearing over the administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nations like Haiti, El Salvador, and Sudan, which allows designees to live and work here legally when conditions in their home countries make it too dangerous to return. During the January meeting, the white supremacist-in-chief wondered aloud "why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here,” instead of people from Norway. Translation: why aren’t we bringing white immigrants instead?
TPS recipients then sued, saying the termination was motivated by racism. During the hearing this week, the judge questioned a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney over the administration’s intentions. “The question is,” Chen said, “if there’s this allegation of less-than-pure motives on the part of the White House with respect to immigration policy, and TPS in particular, and those subject to this particular decision, who are characterized as coming from ‘shithole countries,’ whether that influenced [former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke] in any way.”
Of course that was this racist administration’s motivation. As far back as May 2017, officials were reportedly digging into the background of Haitian TPS recipients for criminal records in order to justify ending their protections. Later, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ignored the advice of U.S. diplomats calling for the continuation of protections, and sided with White House aide and white supremacist Stephen Miller in terminating TPS. The true reasoning for ending TPS wasn’t improved conditions—it was white supremacy.
“Chen is deciding whether to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the administration's decision,” but “he did not give any indication of when he would rule,” CBS News reports. But as attorney Ahilan Arulanantham of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asserted, the racist remark speaks for itself. “We just have blatant, rank discrimination statements coming from the most powerful person in the government.”