'Refugees can't go back home': Wyclef Jean addresses asylum seekers in surprise jam
Haitian-born superstar offered a free show in Plaza St-Hubert Friday afternoon
Crowds filled the street at Plaza St-Hubert as international superstar Wyclef Jean took the stage in Montreal in a surprise show Friday afternoon.
In the set, Jean, who is originally from Haiti, addressed the scores of Haitian nationals seeking asylum by crossing the border into Canada outside ports of entry, following the threat of their protected status in the U.S. expiring next year.
"To the refugees that's in the dome, Donald Trump made a promise," Jean sang in a freestyle, alluding to the U.S. president's campaign trail assertion last year in Miami that he wanted to be Haitians' "greatest champion."
"Please, Donald Trump, keep your promise because the refugees can't go back home. I mean, out in Haiti, they can't take 50,000 people after the earthquake," he rapped.
Jean referred to the number of Haitian nationals under the temporary protected status (TPS) in the U.S., which was granted following the 2010 earthquake that ravaged much of the small country and killed more than 200,000 people.
The name of the hip-hop group Jean rose to fame with, The Fugees, comes from the word "refugee," which he told Rolling Stone in 1996 was used derogatorily towards Haitian-Americans.
The award-winning musician also sang about the recent white supremacists rallies in the U.S. in the jam, telling the crowd "I love Canada, the people are so nice. I love America, but things are crazy right now."
Quand <a href="https://twitter.com/wyclef">@wyclef</a> prend le contrôle de ta cuisine, ça ressemble à ça... 😂Merci Kwizinn pour l'accueil! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/maplaza?src=hash">#maplaza</a> <a href="https://t.co/PprJKVgWW4">pic.twitter.com/PprJKVgWW4</a>—@plazasthubert
He shared the stage along the plaza strip with musicians Marie-Josée Lord and Mélanie Renaud, near the intersection of St-Hubert and St-Zotique streets right beside Kwizinn Restaurant.
They sang hits including No Woman, No Cry and Maria, Maria.
The City of Montreal's 375th committee announced earlier in the day the musician would be performing at Plaza St-Hubert at 4 p.m as a part of its anniversary celebrations.
Jean will also be performing Saturday as part of Montréal Symphonique at 9 p.m. at the intersection of Pine and Parc avenues.