SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - President Trump's vulgar remarks regarding people who hail from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries have sparked furor and hurt among thousands of Bay Area immigrants.
Salvadorian immigrant Millie Valdes known as the "Real Problem-Solver" or the Mother Teresa of San Francisco City Hall, dedicated nearly 30 years of her life to public service.
"I made a life of my own here and I love, love this country very, very much," said Valdes.
That's why the spunky 78-year-old grandmother of four was angry and hurt by President Trump's recent comment during a private meeting with lawmakers where he derided immigrants from what he dubbed "s***hole" countries, citing examples such as Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.
"I couldn't sleep at all last night," said Valdes, as her eyes filled with tears. "Pardon if I'm getting emotional. I have cried all night because I feel insulted."
Valdes immigrated from El Salvador in 1956 when she was just 17 years old. She struggled to learn the English language and acclimate to American culture, but she eventually got married, had three boys, and landed a job at City Hall, working alongside Mayor Art Agnos, Frank Jordan and Willie Brown.
"I've been blessed to know a lot of people who have come here to work to be honest and not to be a burden to the United States," said Valdes, who cringed at the insinuation that immigrants come to America to take advantage of the system.
She says Trump's comment made her feel degraded and unworthy, and her son defends her feelings with his own take.
"He has slapped my mom across the face, he has slapped my father across the face and he has slapped everyone across the face who has come here looking for a better life," said Vic Artiga, one of Valdes's three sons.
Artiga is a retired first responder and former Army veteran who calls Trump ignorant and believes his comments show disregard for the human spirit.
"If you're living in a village, whether it's in Iraq, Thailand or El Salvador, it is not your fault you don't have purified water running into your house, and it is not your fault that your political system is rife with corruption," said Artiga.
Valdes says her dignity took a hit yesterday but she's still proud to be an American. And she has a message for trump.
"Mr. President," she said, in a scolding manner. "[You're] being very unfair, go visit El Salvador... I hope they welcome you."