Reportedly President Donald Trump questioned why the United States would be interested to have immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to some as “shithole countries,” according to two sources familiar with the comments. The wording made headlines and upset many, leaving aside the dramatic situation with rampant criminality in mentioned places, including abductions, rape and murder.
“THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED PORT-AU-PRINCE AS BEING A CRITICAL-THREAT LOCATION FOR CRIME DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS” – the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) warns in capital letters (!).
Trump’s comments, made in the White House, came amid Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham presentation on a newly drafted immigration bill being promoted by a bipartisan group of senators, according to the sources, requesting anonymity.
Other government officials were present during the conversation, the sources said. President Trump concerns about security Haiti represents are not unique.
The UK FCO warns about danger of travelling to Haiti, reminding about increased levels of crime, violent muggings, resulted in fatalities etc. (See FCO travel advice below).
“Violent crime appears to remain predominantly gang-related or robbery-related. Robberies are most common in Port-au-Prince and affect affluent areas frequented by visitors (Petionville). Gang-related violent crime continues to be centralized in specific areas of Port-au-Prince (Cité Soleil), which are not traditional tourist/business areas. Organized crime appears as small, organized, criminal gang activity (kidnapping gangs).
Homicides continue to be a major concern in Haiti. In 2016, there were 1,029 reported homicides, with 70% occurring in Port-au-Prince”, – OSAC reports.