NEW YORK, NY — Today, New York City Council Member and Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo issued the following statement after President Donald Trump allegedly referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” during a meeting convened at the White House to discuss a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“As the leader of the free world, President Donald Trump is supposed to exemplify American ideals and way of life. Instead, he has utilized his global platform to perpetuate xenophobia and hate that has fostered divisiveness in communities across the nation. His misguided views, particularly on immigration, has provoked an unjust attack on the families who immigrated to our shores in search of the American Dream, and does not reflect our nation’s values. The disparaging comments that were allegedly made about Haitians and Africans during a closed door meeting is indicative of an anti-immigrant presidential administration whose policies have separated families and decimated communities.

“We cannot allow President Trump’s racist remarks to overshadow the resiliency of Haitians and their determination to rebuild after enduring consecutive natural disasters, most notably the devastating earthquake of 2010 that resulted in the loss of an estimated 200,000-300,000 lives.

“The denigration of Haitians and Africans as individuals who come from ‘shithole countries’ is deplorable and inexcusable. His remarks are particularly insensitive after the revocation of DACA and TPS for millions of immigrants whose lives remain in limbo. Immigrants are still welcome here and we must renew our resolve to create and preserve the protections that have afforded people of all backgrounds an equal opportunity to overcome obstacles and begin anew.”

New York City Council Member and Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo represents the 35th District, which covers Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. She currently serves as a member of the Committees on Cultural Affairs, Finance, Higher Education, Public Housing, and Women’s Issues; co-chairs the Women’s Caucus; is a member of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus as well as the Jewish Caucus.