At the State of the Union Address President, Donald Trump spoke about MS-13 and proposed new legislation to reform immigration.
Since his political campaign, Trump has brought up MS-13 many time in order to discuss immigration and his State of the Union address was no different. His speech focused on using anti-immigration terms such as “illegal” and leveling them as criminals and drug dealers.
Trump brought a number of guests, many of which faced death in some way, as a way to evoke emotion. He went as far as directing everyone’s attention to two family members who had lost someone from MS-13 and used their pain and tears to push his immigration policy. What else could we expect from someone who refers to ICE agents as "great great people."
In an attempt to further his point he said his duty is to protect Americans. “Americans are dreamers too,” he says, in other words, a person who has lived here most of their life - a DACA recipient - is not considered American enough.
Trump also proposed four pillars in his immigration plan that will be based on a merit-based system, where people with skills who want to work "love and respect our country will contribute to society":
1. A path to citizenship for 1.8 million “illegal” immigrants who were brought to the country. He said this is three times more people. Based on a person’s education, work requirement and moral character over a 12 year period they will have the opportunity to become American citizens.
2. Fully secure the border. He did not specify how much this would cost exactly, however, he did mention that there would be more immigration agents hired to secure the border.
3. End the lottery system. No green card will be issued without a regard to a person’s skill or merit.
4. End “chain immigration.” Limited to only spouses and minor children, a law that already only allows citizens to sponsor children, spouses, parents, and siblings, not distant relatives as he said.
He referred to the terrorist attacks such as the recent New York attack as a result of the visa lottery system, a bipartisan legislation that has no evidence as a direct link to terrorism.
In between clapping for himself, Trump finished off on immigration by saying this bill “puts America first” and to “set politics aside and finally get the job done.”