Behind closed doors, President Trump lambasted America’s immigration policy for drawing in people from “shithole countries.” The comments have been confirmed by sources within the Oval Office and come at a sensitive time, with the president having just rejected a compromised Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal. Sources have relayed the president’s exact words as:
“Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?”
Apparently, the comment came after President Trump found out that the potential immigration deal would include protections for people from Haiti and certain African countries. These words may have triggered Trump’s temper and prompted his remarks. Haiti, in particular, drew the president’s ire, and Trump went on to ask specifically, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”
As soon as the discussion widened to Africa, Trump doubled down, lambasting “shithole countries.” According to those privy to the talks, if Trump had his way, the United States would increase immigration from countries like Norway. Traditionally, most American immigrants have come from poorer countries. This has been true throughout the history of modern America.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, only 310 people from Norway obtained a greencard in 2015.
Many of the early pilgrims sought to escape poverty and a heavy-handed government in England. Later waves of immigrants included German, Italian, French, Irish, and later Japanese migrants. Many of these countries were quite poor at the time while America was considered a land of opportunity. That long-held trend has continued on to this day.
Some 1,051,031 lawful permanent residents, otherwise known as green card holders, arrived in 2015. Approximately 40% of these migrants came from just five countries: Mexico (15 percent), China (7 percent), India (6 percent), the Philippines, and Cuba (5 percent each). The president’s views of these specific countries remain unclear.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, only 310 people from Norway obtained a green card in 2015. Nearby Sweden sent a bit over 1,000, while Finland sent just over 400. The largest European country, Germany, sent just over 5,400.
Why Aren’t Europeans Flocking to the United States?
Norway is generally regarded as having a higher quality of life than the United States, As such, it’s questionable whether many Norwegians would be jumping at the opportunity to move to America. The same could be said of much of the rest of Scandinavia and other countries the president might not regard as “shitholes.”
According to Human Development Indicator scores with inequality factored in, Norway is the highest ranked country, with Sweden coming in at 8th place and Finland in 10th place. Germany came in 6th place. The United States, on the other hand, came in at 19th place, behind most of Western Europe and barely edging out Slovakia.
Without inequality factored in, the United States was ranked 10th in 2016.