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A metro police officer fires rubber bullets at anti-immigrant protesters in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon Friday as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in South Africa's capital, while President Jacob Zuma condemned anti-foreigner violence and appealed for calm. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

South Africa is the latest country engulfed by a growing tide of anti-immigrant sentiment


South Africa is the latest country to report violence amongst a growing global tide of anti-immigrant sentiment, the New York Times reported. Anti-immigrant protesters led a violent march through the country's administrative capital, Pretoria, on Friday. Police responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons.

President Jacob Zuma called for calm and denounced the latest wave of anti-foreigner violence.

South Africa is the latest country engulfed by a growing tide of anti-immigrant sentiment

WATCH | Anti-immigrant protesters clash with police in South Africa

Many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law-abiding and contribute to the economy of the country positively
Jacob Zuma

Zuma's address to the nation appeared to echo sentiment captured by some US politicians in the aftermath of President Trump's implementation of his immigration ban barring foreign nationals from certain Muslim countries.

“It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers,”  Zuma said. “Let us isolate those who commit such crimes and work with government to have them arrested, without stereotyping and causing harm to innocent people.”

Similarly, Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren criticized Trump's Muslim ban for generalizing all Muslims as terrorist sympathizers. "None of these people are criminals," she said on the Senate floor. "None of these people are threats."

She continued, "Most of them have already been vetted and granted the right to come to America."

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also claimed that Trump's executive order harmed innocent people. “It could interfere with the immigration of Iraqis who worked for American forces in Iraq as translators and bodyguards people who literally saved the lives of our troops and diplomats during the last decade and whose lives are at risk if they remain in Iraq."

In South Africa, which has the continent's most advanced economy, residents have resented and criticized legal and illegal African immigrants throughout the years--accusing them of stealing jobs and contributing to the country's high crime rates.

The attacks on Friday spread to other communities around Pretoria, where foreign hotspots were specifically targeted.

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