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Donald Trump embraced familiar fearmongering rhetoric about migrants on Fox News on Thursday, warning against accepting Haitian asylum-seekers because “many of those people will probably have AIDS.”
The former president made the comments during a discussion about immigration with host Sean Hannity, who said he was all for “legal immigration,” but asked if it was wrong to require a “security check to make sure you don’t have radical associations,” a COVID-19 test and proof that you “won’t be a financial burden on the American people.”
Trump said he supported those measures and brought up “one other thing that nobody talks about.”
“So, we have hundreds of thousands of people flowing in from Haiti. Haiti has a tremendous AIDS problem. AIDS is a step beyond. AIDS is a real bad problem,” he ranted. “Many of those people will probably have AIDS and they’re coming into our country. And we don’t do anything about it. We let everybody come in.”
“It’s like a death wish for our country,” he added.
Trump infamously called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers in 2018, and followed up by suggesting the U.S. welcome more immigrants from countries like Norway.
Haitians have long sought asylum at U.S. borders. These migrants have for decades been subjected to violence and racial discrimination demonizing them as disease carriers.
Conditions in the country have deteriorated after it suffered a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, a deadly tropical storm and the assassination of its president over the summer.
An estimated 15,000 Haitian migrants ― not hundreds of thousands ― recently reached the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, hoping to cross into the U.S. Since Sept. 19, the U.S. government has expelled more than 7,000 of them on flights back to Haiti.
The Biden administration has been under fire for its treatment of Haitian migrants after footage showed border patrol agents on horseback corralling asylum seekers and shouting at them to return to Mexico.