WASHINGTON — House Democrats from the Congressional Black Caucus and the Judiciary Committee on Thursday introduced a resolution to censure President Donald Trump for his recent comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.
“We will not stand quietly by and let this administration trash our values and divide this country and speak wrongly of what this country stands for,” said ranking member of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerold Nadler of New at a news conference. “We’re here today to fulfill Congress’ duty to officially condemn and separate itself and the U.S. government from President Trump’s racist remarks.”
During a Jan. 11 meeting with Senate leaders to negotiate a compromise on immigration legislation, Trump suggested the U.S. should look for more immigrants from countries like Norway, and fewer from African nations he deemed “shithole” countries. During the meeting, Trump also questioned whether Haitians should be included in a bipartisan immigration plan, saying the United States should “take them out.”
The censure resolution — which has been signed by over 130 House Democrats — is co-sponsored by Nadler and Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. It would censure the president, condemn him for his statements ad demand a retraction and apology.
Richmond called Trump’s remarks racist and said that they ignore America’s own fraught history with forced immigration from Africa during the slave trade.
“It’s painfully ironic that a country where the people were taken from their homes, shackled and brought over in the belly of a ship …,” Richmond said. “To now say that we don’t want people from those countries is outlandish, astonishing and just painful.”
Lawmakers have tried to censure Trump twice before — for his comments following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and in November, when he retweeted an anti-Muslim video from a far-right account based in England, but Republicans blocked the resolutions.
Still, Richmond said, he and his supporters will ask House Speaker Paul Ryan to bring the resolution to the floor for a vote.
“If the speaker doesn’t bring this resolution up for a vote, he is associating himself with the remarks of the president of the United States,” Richmond said.
Ryan’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.