Trump’s SOTU Address: The Good, Bad, and Ugly on Immigration

Published on February 6th, 2019

Trump Delivering His State of the Union
President Trump delivered his 2019 State of the Union Address last night before Congress and millions of Americans.

After months of contentious negotiations with Congress and a record-setting government shutdown, immigration and border security were among the most highly anticipated subjects the President would address in his speech.  So, how did the President do?

The Good: Illegal Immigration

President Trump did a good job diagnosing the problem of illegal immigration and the dangerous threat it poses both to our nation and the migrants who travel here illegally. Quotes from the President’s speech, courtesy of CNN:

“Now is the time for the Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business.”

The President addressing the issue of migrant caravans and border security:

“As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.”

The President on Americans killed by criminal illegal aliens:

“Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens. I've gotten to know many wonderful Angel Moms, Dads, and families — no one should ever have to suffer the horrible heartache they have endured.”

“Not one more American life should be lost because our Nation failed to control its very dangerous border. In the last 2 years, our brave ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings.”

The Bad: Policy Solutions to End Illegal Immigration

While the President passionately made his case for more border security, including building the wall, the President failed to make any reference to his campaign promise to implement nationwide Mandatory E-Verify.

According to a recent report, the Border Patrol apprehended just over 310,000 illegal border crossers. But more than 700,000 foreigners overstayed visas in 2017.

As CAPS has advocated for years, E-Verify is the key to reducing the job magnet that drives illegal immigration. If the President were serious about reducing illegal immigration, not just from our porous southern border, he would have called on Congress to pass Mandatory E-Verify legislation.

The Ugly: Mass Immigration

President Trump had a lot to cover in his State of the Union address, but he missed an opportunity to address mass immigration, one of the most critical issues facing American families.

Mass immigration threatens American families in a number of different ways. Decades of importing cheap foreign workers has made it harder for Americans to find highly-skilled and well-paying jobs.

Unsustainable population growth in the United States, fueled by mass immigration, has had a negative impact on our environment, depleting natural resources and increasing pollution caused by urban development.

While the President has sometimes made reducing legal immigration a priority of his Administration, he failed to make the case to the American people in a meaningful way during his 2019 State of the Union Address.  

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