GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Politicians in Washington are still weighing in on the claim that President Donald Trump used derogatory terms to describe some countries during an immigration meeting Thursday.
Lawmakers in the Oval Office during the meeting say when talking about African countries and Haiti, President Trump said, “Why do we want all these people coming here.” Lawmakers also say he used some profanity.
On Friday, President Trump denied anything derogatory toward Haitians saying the language he used in the meeting, “was tough, but this was not the language used.”
In another tweet, President Trump said, “I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings…unfortunately, no trust.”
Some argue President Trump’s words were completely out of line.
“There’s no need to tiptoe around what they are. They’re racist, they’re vile, they’re divisive and they’re the last thing we need in this country right now,” said Kwame Raoul, (D) Illinois State Senator.
Other lawmakers say President Trump’s words are being twisted.
“I think he’s a realist. I think he has an unconventional way of communicating,” said U.S. Representative Robert Pittenger, (R) North Carolina. “You have to look at context. Was he talking about people or was he talking about governments? I think he’s looking at these countries rules by despots.”
Brittany Galvin, a Green Bay nurse practitioner, is in rural Haiti right now, which is about four hours north of Port-au-Prince. Galvin said she has seen first-hand why Haitians want to come to America.
“People still see America as the American Dream,” said Galvin. “Eighty percent of the country here is unemployed. Not because they don’t want to work, but because there really is no access to jobs. When they see America, even if it’s working as a house cleaner or taxi cab, it’s better than where they are right now and they see that as a way to give back to their families.”
Galvin said President Trump’s most recent words haven’t circulated around her area because she is in a rural area, but she said his view on immigration is having an impact.
“Remarks he said against repealing TPS and sending people home, people are terrified and say, ‘What did I do wrong”,” said Galvin. “They have that blanket statement of why do Americans hate us?”
Galvin is hoping to extend her stay in Haiti another year, but she hopes everyone, including President Trump, takes a closer look at immigration and what she said is an important asked of American culture.
“It goes back to our roots as Americans. Every one of us were immigrants at some point in time. Most of us came from poor families and that is the reason we came to America, so what is different now?” said Galvin. “Whether it’s from Ireland when there was a famine there or whether it’s from Africa when there’s a famine there? What is the difference? Of course, we can’t just have everyone flood in, but everyone should have an opportunity at a better chance at life. So either we need to do better at supporting people in need in other countries or we need to help those in need now and part of that is going to be immigration.”