Trump Presents Distorted Reality in State of Union Address

During last night’s State of the Union address, President Trump boasted of his Administration’s role in ushering the “Great American comeback,” staking claim that his White House has built a prosperous and “inclusive” society. Unfortunately, his talk of unparalleled success of all citizens under his leadership presented a distorted vision of reality—one that failed to acknowledge that his policies have actually worked to exclude, divide, and discriminate against immigrants, people of color, and the poor.

The president talked about high quality healthcare and protections for those with pre-existing conditions, yet he has openly worked to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and support policies that would errode quality coverage, including for those with pre-existing conditions. Moreover, through his executive actions and the courts, he has forced hard-working immigrant families to choose between living or thriving in the land of freedom and opportunity through his public charge regulation.

He talked about the promise of quality education as a means for all young people to achieve the American Dream, yet he seeks to dismantle our public school system through vouchers, which take critical funding away from public schools that serve the overwhelming majority of children. Parents should not have to take a gamble on receiving a voucher that still won’t cover the cost of attending a private school. Instead, we must provide quality and fully resourced neighborhood public schools that support all children to thrive.

Finally, while we agree that our immigration system needs to be updated, we oppose the president’s vision for a merit-based system that disregards family unity—a long-standing cornerstone of what has made our immigratiom system great. We believe that humane immigration policy is one that protects the due process rights of immigrants, supports the reunification of families, and welcomes refugees fleeing harm across the world. Unfortunately, this Administration has proven these are not its values, as the president has continued to criminalize immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, escalate deportations, end protections for DREAMers, and expand exclusionary policies such as the Muslim ban.

We vehemently denounce President Trump’s ongoing fear-mongering and anti-immigrant propaganda. America is the land of hope and opportunity, not fear and division.

We will continue to uplift the voices of our families, who are the lifeblood of their communities.

We will fight for immigrants and refugees, who aren’t ‘alien’ outsiders but rather are already woven into the rich tapestry of our country’s history and progress.

We will fight for the right of every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation to have access to quality education, reliable health insurance, and protection from discrimination.

And we will remain committed working toward a vision of America united in love, compassion, and true freedom for all.