News & Media


Jan. 12, 2018

Contact: Jennifer Farmer,, (202) 306-0136

Faith Leaders Respond to President Trump’s “Sh*thole Countries” Statement

On Thursday, January 11, while in a meeting regarding immigration negotiations, President Trump made a series of derogatory comments, saying that individuals from Haiti, El Salvador, and other African nations were from “shithole countries.” In response, faith leaders from across the PICO Network issued the following statements:

“The failure of this administration to bear witness to the beauty and sacredness of all people and all lands sounds the alarm for those who do justice and love mercy. In the face of hate and racism, we must continue to fight for our freedom by declaring that no one stands alone, and affirming none are “shitholes” but rather that we all are creations of God.” Ben McBride, PICO California Co-Director

“It is a sad indictment on this country that we have a White Supremacist in the White House that was built by slaves.  For almost 2 years, we have heard Donald Trump make racist remarks about everyone except rich, old white men.  His comments yesterday, drives home that “Make America great again” is code language for “Make America White Again!” Sharon Bridgeforth, Together Colorado Board President

“Yet again DT has showed how ignorant and racist he is by referring to our brothers and sisters from (all the countries he referred to). Two things: One, let’s acknowledge the fact that the U.S. with its foreign and international policy has created economic instability and civil unrest in many of the countries that have the TPS designation. From El Salvador to Haiti the United States has supported racist economic policies that allow for the oppression of working class communities of color. Two: 43% of immigrants from African countries have Bachelors degrees, compared to 33% of the U.S. This is an example of an ignorant white supremacist in the White House.” Eddie Carmona, PICO California Political Director

“Not sure why everyone is so surprised, after all, he has shown the world that he is a racist for the past two years through words and deeds.” Tom Cartwright, San Diego Organizing Project Community Volunteer 

“I am heartbroken to think that the ignorance and racism of one man could change our national commitment to welcome the freedom seekers, or that our commitment will turn out to be dependent on the color of a person’s skin.  It is nothing short of a breaking of faith with America and Americans.” Annie Fox, LA Voice Lead Organizer

“Clearly the president only wants to see people living in this country that look like him—white and rich.  However, Congress can’t get distracted, they must do their job and work to find a permanent legislative solution to protect DREAMers and TPS recipients. If Congress does not act, we will see these young people and long-term residents funneled into President Trump’s mass deportation machine.” Richard Morales, LA RED Policy and Program Director

“Mr. Trump makes it absolutely impossible for a person of color to have respect for him or the office. I am equally outraged and disheartened by those who support and allow Trump to continue in racist rants and deplorable actions without being equally outraged.” Pastor Trena Turner, Faith in the Valley Executive Director


PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 45 local and state federations. Learn more at