Ben Carson, Trump's Housing and Urban Development Secretary Says Slaves Came to the U.S as "Immigrants"

"That's what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.” said Secretary Carson.

Ben Carson, Trump's Housing and Urban Development Secretary Says Slaves Came to the U.S as "Immigrants"

Ben Carson, U.S Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary

Ben Carson, President Donald Trump's Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, has incited a firestorm with his recently made statements that slaves who came to America, came as "immigrants."

Carson made these statements while he was for the first time addressing staff members of the HUD in an official address.

He gave the view that Black Africans who were forcibly transported from Africa to work as slaves in the New World, to include the United States, that they had the same hopes and dreams as early immigrants.

The Secretary's statements were broadcast live to regional staff members around the U.S.

His actual comments as reported were: "That's what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.” said Secretary Carson.

He went on to say; “But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

His comments were immediately picked up by many on social media, with persons hammering Carson for making racially insensitive remarks, and being out of touch with the issues facing relations in the United States.

In response to the controversy, Carson took to twitter and stated that a person “can be an involuntary immigrant.”

He went on to describe an immigrant as “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country....."

Later on Monday evening, Carson toned down his response as he offered the following statement; “Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders,” he wrote. “The Immigrants made the choice to come to America. They saw this country as a land of opportunity. In contrast, slaves were forced here against their will and lost all their opportunities. We continue to live with that legacy.”