President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress, where he talked about some of the most controversial moves of his administration, and laid out his plan for hope and prosperity for the nation.
The president touched upon America’s greatest international threats and challenges, and shared inspirational stories of people acting after hearing God’s voice, and fleeing for their lives from brutal regimes.
Here are 10 highlights from Trump’s address:
1. MAGA is a “righteous mission”
Trump started his speech by telling Congress his administration has been focused from the very beginning, ever since he first stood at the House chamber almost a year ago, on delivering the promises of his famous MAGA slogan:
“Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.”
“Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined,” he added.
“We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.”
2. American unity and “in God we trust” motto
The president said on a number of occasions that he wants to help unite the country as “one team, one people, and one American family.”
“We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag. Together, we are rediscovering the American way,” he said.
He pointed to the nation’s official motto, adopted in 1956, as a way to look forward toward such unity.
“In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is ‘in God we trust.'”
3. Benefits of tax reform
When listing out his accomplishments in his first full year in office, Trump touted his “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” tax reform initiative, which was praised by many congressional Republicans, but criticized by Democrats.
“We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity,” he vowed.
“As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.”
4. Tragic consequences of “open borders”
Trump argued that some of the great dangers facing the country are “open borders” and immigration loopholes, which have allowed in foreign criminal gangs, sometimes with deadly consequences.
The president introduced two fathers and two mothers, Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens, who have suffered firsthand due to such flaws.
“Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown,” Trump described.
“Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors — and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.”
He assured the parents that everyone in the chamber is praying for them, with all of America “grieving for you.” He also used the example to highlight why it is important for Congress to fix the nation’s immigration laws.
5. Four pillars of immigration reform
Trump explained that Democrats and Republicans have been meeting extensively in recent months to craft an immigration plan where “nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.”
He laid out the “four pillars” behind the plan, starting with a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought to the country by their parents at a young age, otherwise known as Dreamers.
Next, he said that border security will be essential, meaning building his long-promised wall on the border with Mexico, and closing “the terrible loopholes” allowing criminals into America.
The third pillar, he said, ends the diversity visa lottery program, and seeks to move “towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.”
Trump continued: “The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.
“Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorship to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.”
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Source: Christian Post