Haitian, religious communities reject President Trump’s comments

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

President Trump’s alleged comment on acceptance of immigrants from Haiti and “s***hole countries” in Africa is receiving backlash from members of Connecticut’s Haitian and religious communities.

The comment came as President Trump rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the Oval Office conversation.

MORE: Trump: Why allow immigrants from ‘s***hole countries’

Rev. Sara Smith of the United Congregational Church in Bridgeport says President Trump's words go against everything she preaches to her very diverse church group.

"We ought to be doing the exact opposite,” she said. “Lift people up, celebrate the humanity of us, celebrate the diversity of us. The Haitian-American culture is beautiful, and they bring great gifts to our country."

As a religious leader, she says she works very closely with Haitian-Americans and has even visited the country.

Rev. Smith says President Trump's words do not reflect America as a country or what it stands for.

"We all came to this country, we all made it great,” said Pascale Millien-Faustin, of the Haitian Women Association of Connecticut. “And really our community is the backbone of this nation. Because the African-Americans built the country - where he is sitting now.”

To further address immigration issues including DACA and TPS, or temporary protection status, Pascale says there will be a meeting  in Norwalk on Jan. 26 at Town Hall. She says attorneys, state and local representatives will be there to answer questions.

AP wires contributed to this report.

  • Connecticut SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in officePresident Trump's first year in office

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

  • 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

  • Photos: News 12 meets Amur Tiger cubs at Beardsley Zoo

    Photos: News 12 meets Amur Tiger cubs at Beardsley Zoo

    Thursday, January 11 2018 2:33 PM EST2018-01-11 19:33:17 GMT
    News 12 Connecticut's Marissa Alter got to meet the Amur Tiger cubs at the Beardsley Zoo.News 12 Connecticut's Marissa Alter got to meet the Amur Tiger cubs at the Beardsley Zoo.

    For over a month, the cubs have been featured on the zoo's Facebook page, and now News 12 Connecticut's Marissa Alter got to meet them in person.

    For over a month, the cubs have been featured on the zoo's Facebook page, and now News 12 Connecticut's Marissa Alter got to meet them in person.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."