Culture

Trump’s Joint Address To Congress Took A Dark Turn When He Zeroed In On Crime And Immigration

Donald Trump’s first Address to Congress (a trial State of the Union speech) played much like one of his rallies, albeit a more gentle endeavor … for the most part. Trump declared an era of optimism and jobs jobs borders jobs borders borders jobs Great Wall. That was the tone for the first 40 minutes as he bragged about how the “Earth shifted beneath our feet” in 2016 before the “chorus became an earthquake.” After Trump delivered pure sunshine to his audience, he then drove down a bleak avenue.

In the above clip, Trump called for a a new agency that will single out crimes perpetrated by undocumented immigrants. He wants to call this “VOICE,” which stands for “Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement.” The statement caused an audible groan from the Democrats, but Trump continued. He introduced parents whose children were murdered by illegal immigrants, and he showcased two women whose law-enforcement husbands were killed in the line of duty. As Trump put it, they were “viciously cut down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record with two prior deportations.” He vowed, “We will never stop fighting for justice … we will always honor their memory.”

(It must be noted — ever so briefly — that Trump is ignoring actual statistics about immigration and crime. Specifically, multiple credible studies have found that immigrants to the U.S. are actually less likely to embark upon lives of crime than their citizen counterparts.)

A few moments later, Trump introduced his audience to Carryn Owens, the widow of fallen Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, who is the U.S. commando that died in the first Trump-approved (failed) military mission. The audience gave her a standing ovation for two minutes before Trump stated, “Ryan died as he lived, a warrior and a hero … [he] is looking down, he’s very happy because I think he just broke a record … we will never forget Ryan.” Here’s that clip, which some (including Katy Tur and Van Jones) are considering to be Trump’s most “presidential” moment so far.

Other notable moments in the speech included Trump promising lots of import taxes, and “buy American and hire American” drew much applause. He slammed Obamacare and vowed to ensure that “no one is left out” of Medicaid. From there, he continued with an almost unachievable set of his own promises, including “clean air and water” despite — earlier today — sticking a fork in the clean water order established by Obama and slashing funding to the EPA. He also crowed, “Education is the civil rights issue of our time,” although he didn’t elaborate much.

Oh, and Trump promised great strides for women, both for entrepreneurial endeavors (in league with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau) and in terms of paid family leave. Those bits drew applause from Democrats (even Cory Booker), but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether Trump will deliver.

If you missed Trump’s address, here’s the full speech.

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