For the first time in more than a decade, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, birthday has been officially proclaimed a federal holiday.

In the midst of controversy over his alleged remarks regarding some Latin American and African nations, President Donald Trump signed the proclamation on Friday.

This year marks the first time in more than a decade that the federal holiday falls on King’s actual birthday.

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Trump was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Housing Secretary Ben Carson, and Rev. Issac Newton Farris, Jr.

Trump has also designated King’s birthplace, church, and tomb as a national historic park.

"Reverend King preached love throughout his life, love for each other, for our fellow Americans, and for humanity," Trump said. "That is what drove his work.

"We celebrate King first and foremost for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear: No matter the color of our skin, or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God," Trump said. "This April will mark half a century since King was cruelly taken from us by an assassin’s bullet. As we mourn his loss, we also pledge to fight for his dream of equality, freedom, justice, and peace."

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On Friday, the president denied using the term to describe Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries and instead sought to put the redirect the focus on what he called unacceptable Democratic proposals on immigration.

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that Trump questioned in a meeting with lawmakers on Thursday why the U.S. would accept immigrants from "s---hole countries" like Haiti or in Africa rather than in places like Norway. Trump had met the previous day with the prime minister of Norway.