ESA Calls Trump's 'Shithole Countries' Comment 'Repulsive'
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is denouncing comments President Trump reportedly made in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers on Thursday. While discussing protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries under a bipartisan immigration deal, Trump reportedly asked, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"
The president allegedly singled out Haiti in particular and wanted it removed from the deal. Last November, his administration rescinded deportation protection for nearly 60,000 Haitians who came to the U.S. after a massive earthquake hit their country in 2010. "Why do we need more Haitians?" Trump said, according to people familiar with the meeting. "Take them out."
The Washington Post reported on the comments and, naturally, backlash soon followed. One of the organizations speaking out is the ESA. It's a lobby group that represents video game publishers, including Bethesda, EA, Microsoft, and Nintendo. It also runs the annual E3 convention in Los Angeles. On its Twitter page last night, it called the president's comments "repulsive."
Our statement regarding President Trump's remarks about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African Nations. pic.twitter.com/8O9blNmEVB— The ESA (@theESA) January 12, 2018
The ESA has not always been critical of Trump. Last year, it released a statement in favor of his proposed tax reform bill, saying it would "energize tech sector innovation and economic opportunity." The bill is widely unpopular, as it benefits businesses (like the publishers the ESA represents) more than individuals. It permanently slashes the corporate tax rate, repeals the Obamacare mandate, and allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, among other things. Economists believe it will increase the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years and ultimately dampen economic growth in the long run.