After Trump's comments, a look back at Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake

Yahoo News Photo Staff

President Trump’s habit of unrestrained, freewheeling commentary made headlines yet again this week, as multiple news outlets reported that he asked why the U.S. was allowing immigration from “shithole countries.” In reference to Haiti, according to the reports, the president said “Haitians? Why do we need more Haitians?”

Why was Trump talking about Haiti? Eight years ago — on Jan. 12, 2010 — the Caribbean country was devastated by a massive, 7.0 earthquake. The Haitian government said more than 300,000 people died, and around 1.5 million people were displaced.

According to the Associated Press, “The Trump administration announced late last year that it would end a temporary residency permit program that allowed nearly 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States.”

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<p>People carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, late Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. (Photo: Jorge Cruz/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

People carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, late Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. (Photo: Jorge Cruz/AP)

<p>Displaced people gather on Place Boyer in Petion-Ville to spend the night, following a major earthquake on Jan.13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti today, followed by at least a dozen aftershocks, causing widespread devastation in the capital of Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Frederic Dupoux/Getty Images) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Displaced people gather on Place Boyer in Petion-Ville to spend the night, following a major earthquake on Jan.13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti today, followed by at least a dozen aftershocks, causing widespread devastation in the capital of Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Frederic Dupoux/Getty Images)

<p>People search for survivors under the rubble of a collapse building the day after an earthquake?hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010. (Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

People search for survivors under the rubble of a collapse building the day after an earthquake?hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010. (Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AP)

<p>A view shows the badly damaged presidential palace after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.13, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A view shows the badly damaged presidential palace after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.13, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

<p>The Department of Justice was flattened by the earthquake. Men gather to try to get to those still buried in the rubble without any assistance in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.13, 2010. (Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

The Department of Justice was flattened by the earthquake. Men gather to try to get to those still buried in the rubble without any assistance in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.13, 2010. (Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

<p>A poor neighbourhood shows the damage after an earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital just before 5 pm yesterday, on Jan. 13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo: Logan Abassi/MINUSTAH via Getty Images) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A poor neighbourhood shows the damage after an earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital just before 5 pm yesterday, on Jan. 13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo: Logan Abassi/MINUSTAH via Getty Images)

<p>An injured resident reacts after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 13, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

An injured resident reacts after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 13, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

<p>People look at a destroyed building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.14, 2010. (Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

People look at a destroyed building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.14, 2010. (Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters)

<p>Two year old Redjeson Hausteen Claude reacts to his mother Daphnee Plaisin, after he is rescued from a collapsed home by Belgian and Spanish rescuers in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Two year old Redjeson Hausteen Claude reacts to his mother Daphnee Plaisin, after he is rescued from a collapsed home by Belgian and Spanish rescuers in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)

<p>Maxi Phalone sings praises to God after her sister was pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (Photo: Julie Jacobson/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Maxi Phalone sings praises to God after her sister was pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (Photo: Julie Jacobson/AP)

<p>Makeshift tents are seen after an earthquake on Jan. 13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo: Logan Abassi/MINUSTAH via Getty Images) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Makeshift tents are seen after an earthquake on Jan. 13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo: Logan Abassi/MINUSTAH via Getty Images)

<p>A man pauses in a downtown street in earthquake-torn Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. (Photo: Rodrigo Abd/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A man pauses in a downtown street in earthquake-torn Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. (Photo: Rodrigo Abd/AP)

<p>A private security guard stands outside a burning store in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.19, 2010. (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A private security guard stands outside a burning store in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan.19, 2010. (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

<p>A woman walks down a devastated street in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti last week. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A woman walks down a devastated street in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti last week. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Haitians surge the gates at a food distribution point in the Cite Soleil neighborhood in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Haitians surge the gates at a food distribution point in the Cite Soleil neighborhood in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)

<p>Rico Dibrivell, 35, is attended by a U.S. military rescue team after being freed from the rubble of a building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 26, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Rico Dibrivell, 35, is attended by a U.S. military rescue team after being freed from the rubble of a building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 26, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

<p>A man runs with a box during sporadic looting in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010. (Photo: Ariana Cubillos/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A man runs with a box during sporadic looting in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010. (Photo: Ariana Cubillos/AP)

<p>A woman is crushed in a crowd of people waiting for food rations in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A woman is crushed in a crowd of people waiting for food rations in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP)

<p>A woman walks near a fire at the Hyppolite iron market in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 29, 2010. (Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

A woman walks near a fire at the Hyppolite iron market in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 29, 2010. (Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters)

<p>Men carry the body of 24-year-old Sergeline Joseph after they were paid by her father Thomas Silvain, rear left, more than US$200 to retrieve her from the rubble of their collapsed house instead of waiting for demolition crews, in Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010. (Photo: Andres Leighton/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Men carry the body of 24-year-old Sergeline Joseph after they were paid by her father Thomas Silvain, rear left, more than US$200 to retrieve her from the rubble of their collapsed house instead of waiting for demolition crews, in Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010. (Photo: Andres Leighton/AP)

<p>United Nations soldiers from Uruguay hold the crowd back during a food distribution in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

United Nations soldiers from Uruguay hold the crowd back during a food distribution in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP)

<p>Earthquake survivors sit around a fire in downtown Port-au-Prince, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. (Photo: Rodrigo Abd/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Earthquake survivors sit around a fire in downtown Port-au-Prince, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. (Photo: Rodrigo Abd/AP)

<p>Sherider Anilus, 28, and her daughter, 9-month-old Monica, sit on the spot where her home collapsed during the Jan. 12 earthquake in the Fort National neighborhood Feb. 26, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Living in a shack with her husband and two children, Anilus returned to Fort National from a tent camp in downtown Port-au-Prince so to escape the flash flooding that happens when it rains. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Sherider Anilus, 28, and her daughter, 9-month-old Monica, sit on the spot where her home collapsed during the Jan. 12 earthquake in the Fort National neighborhood Feb. 26, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Living in a shack with her husband and two children, Anilus returned to Fort National from a tent camp in downtown Port-au-Prince so to escape the flash flooding that happens when it rains. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

<p>People carry a coffin containing the remains of a relative who died of cholera in Robine, Haiti, Saturday Oct. 23, 2010. A spreading cholera outbreak in rural Haiti threatened to outpace aid groups as they stepped up efforts Saturday hoping to keep the disease from reaching the camps of earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince. Health officials said at least 208 people had died. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

People carry a coffin containing the remains of a relative who died of cholera in Robine, Haiti, Saturday Oct. 23, 2010. A spreading cholera outbreak in rural Haiti threatened to outpace aid groups as they stepped up efforts Saturday hoping to keep the disease from reaching the camps of earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince. Health officials said at least 208 people had died. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP)

<p>Earthquake victims sheltered at Camp Corail, a provisional camp about 12 miles (20 km) north of Port-au-Prince, walk among their tents November 1, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) </p>
Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake

Earthquake victims sheltered at Camp Corail, a provisional camp about 12 miles (20 km) north of Port-au-Prince, walk among their tents November 1, 2010. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

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