President Donald Trump’s decision to label immigrants as being from “shithole countries” earlier this month is already having a real effect on U.S. foreign affairs.
Not only have multiple countries — including Haiti, which was one of the countries Trump called a “shithole” during a meeting on immigration policy — have summoned U.S. officials to explain the term to their government, but the U.S. embassy in Haiti was forced to close temporarily. Employees were directed to stay away from the premises.
The U.S. closed down its embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Monday, the Associated Press reported, after demonstrators launched a massive protest against Trump.
More than 1,000 people protested at the embassy, which was blocked off by barricades, and some threw rocks as police officers fired tear gas in return. The embassy is expected to reopen on Tuesday.
The Trump administration had also decided to end a temporary legal residency program for around 60,000 Haitians living in the U.S. already. In response, hundreds of Haitian-Americans in New York City marched in protest to Trump Tower, waiving Haitian flags, playing instruments and chanting. There was also a large gathering of Haitian-Americans and their supporters gathered at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida this month, where they demanded an apology from the president.
The news comes after the U.S. Ambassador to Panama — a career diplomat since 1990 and Marine Corps veteran — announced his resignation, saying he no longer feels able to serve under President Trump.