The United States is now receiving backlash in response to the alleged remarks made by President Trump which referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and other African nations as “shithole countries.” According to a report by CNN, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) stated that they were concerned about the “statements that were allegedly made by President Donald Trump,” and have officially requested to meet U.S. diplomats in South Africa to provide an explanation for the president’s remarks. Additionally, other countries such as Ghana, Haiti, and Senegal, among others have also asked to meet with top U.S. diplomats.
While despite the fact that many deny that President Trump even made his now infamous remarks, it seems that most of the damage has already been done as the initial backlash from both Americans and the international community has been steadily intensifying. As a result, U.S. relations have been strained, at least temporarily, with many important allies. South Africa’s foreign ministry gave the following statement, “relations between South Africa and the United States, and between the rest of Africa and the United States, must be based on mutual respect and understanding,” and labelled President Trump’s alleged comments as “cruel and offensive.”
Whether or not one would classify the president’s alleged statement as “racist” or not is a matter of opinion, and what is more concerning is that it may appear that the United States’ President lacks any understanding of why immigration occurs. The reason why more people from countries like Norway don’t migrate to America is because there is no need to do so. The vast majority of sites and polls, including U.S. News, claim that Norway has a higher quality of life than the United States. Most migration that occurs from around the world is a result of people seeking better opportunity. America, a country founded by immigrants, cannot be a country that looks down upon and rejects immigrants from countries that aren’t considered to be as developed or westernized, especially when there are American cities such as Baltimore or Chicago that have parts where the average life expectancy is lower than many developing nations.
African immigrants especially provide significant contributions to American society. Immigrants from Africa on average are more skilled and educated than American workers and other immigrant groups. According to the Los Angeles Times, about 41% of African immigrants have a bachelor’s degree compared to just 32% of Americans and 38% of Norwegian immigrants. Additionally, about one in three African-born immigrants who have a bachelor’s degree are in STEM fields and are twice as likely to work in healthcare than the average American.
African nations are sending their best and brightest to America, causing America to benefit at the expense of these African countries who lose a significant portion of their most skilled citizens. The conversation should not be focused on how offensive President Trump’s alleged comments are but instead how inaccurate they are. Trump’s alleged remarks comes at a time where he recently ended protection for about 200,000 Salvadorans living in America, showing his willingness to act on his words. However, the statistics contradict President Trump’s sentiments and any “America First” policy should look to bring in more immigrants from countries targeted in his comments, not less.
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