The mayor of Philadelphia inserted himself into national politics Wednesday, calling President Donald Trump a “bully” for ending an immigration program for Haitian refugees.
Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney was speaking to a group of immigration advocates when he went after Trump in his speech, according to the local NBC affiliate.
“There is no compassion whatsoever in the White House. I’m just beside myself with sadness because our president is a bully, our president is a punk, and he just doesn’t get it,” Kenney said.
Haitians granted immunity under the program known as TPS (Temporary Protective Status) will no longer be protected from deportation beginning in July 2019. This will apply to almost 60,000 Haitians currently in the United States.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke made the decision to terminate the program, after determining the conditions on the ground in Haiti had improved to the point where it was no longer needed.
Kenney called the decision “un-American” and said it lacked compassion. He also compared it to the struggle of Irish Americans in the 1800’s.
“Could you imagine if they ended TPS for the Irish when we came here in the 1840s? Sent us all back to starve in our home country?” Kenney said. “This country used to be a country of compassion and empathy and it is now a country of anger and divisiveness.”
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