The first presidential debate of 2024 in Atlanta saw heated discussions on the economy, unemployment and immigration. Former President Donald Trump made controversial remarks on immigration and Black Americans, prompting both lawmakers and social media to question the validity and implications of those statements.

As November’s presidential election approaches, the debate provided an opportunity to address critical issues influencing voters. However, when the topic turned to Black voters, President Joe Biden discussed his achievements since taking office in 2020, highlighting advancements in resources for Black maternal health, the growth of new Black-owned businesses, and reductions in the Black unemployment rate, News One reported.

Trump countered these achievements by arguing that Biden had tarnished the strong economic record he claimed to have left behind from his term. He asserted that Biden’s policies had allowed millions of immigrants into the country and alleged that Hispanics were displacing Black Americans in what he called “Black jobs.”

“They’re taking Black jobs now, and it could be 18, it could be 19 and even 20 million people,” Trump said, according to HuffPost.

“They’re taking Black jobs, and they’re taking Hispanic jobs, and you haven’t seen it yet, but you’re gonna see something that’s going to be the worst in our history,” he added.

His claims led Black lawmakers, journalists and social media users to inquire about his characterization and classification of those positions.

“As one of less than 60 black women to swear into Congress, I’m assuming Trump doesn’t think my job is a “black job,” but MY BLACK TAIL will be up early to do the work of my amazing & beautiful coalition of people that make up TX-30! I’ll show up & fight MAGA’s BS on their behalf EVERY damn day that they allow me to! The seat will always belong to the people & I’m humbled & honored to serve them!” Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett wrote regarding her Texas district on X, formerly Twitter.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was also confused by Trump’s controversial remarks: “I still don’t understand the ‘black job’ comment, it would have been nice if there was a follow up to understand what he was trying to say,” she tweeted. 

Journalist Marc Lamont Hill had a few choice words for the former president about his racially targeted comment: “I hate that no one has challenged this notion about ‘Black jobs,'” he shared on his X account.

The NAACP also weighed in on the matter: “What exactly are Black and Hispanic Jobs!?! #CNNDebate

Here are a few social media user reactions: