President Donald Trump touched on immigration reform during his State of the Union address, even bringing out two sets of parents that were impacted by a brutal crime carried out by an illegal immigrant.
“For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans,” he said. “Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.”
That’s when pointed out Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens, whose teenage daughters Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens were murdered by MS-13 gang members.
“These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage MS-13 gang have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders,” he said. “Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as illegal unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.”
Trump addressed Congress and called on them “to close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country.”
The president also touted some other immigration reform policy ideas, some of which were probably in the doomed bipartisan bill that was cobbled together by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Dick Durbin.
“We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, these are great people, these are great, great people that work so hard in the midst of such danger, so that this cannot ever happen again,” he said.
Trump singled out an ICE agent tasked with MS-13 related crimes before leaping into the “four pillars” of his immigration plan.
“The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age ― that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration,” referencing DACA and the Dreamers, though going out of his way to point that “Americans are dreamers too.”
The president’s second “pillar” concerns the border, which is where Trump’s infamous wall was finally mentioned, though only in passing.
“The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border,” he said. “Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country.”
Trump’s “third pillar” and “fourth pillar” were promises to eliminate the visa lottery system and chain migration.
“The third pillar ends the visa lottery ― a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people,” he said. “It is time to begin moving toward a merit-based immigration system.”
Oddly, he said ending chain migration, a politically weaponized wording of the phrase “family immigration,” would help protect the “nuclear family.”
“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 sponsorships to spouses and minor children,” he said. “This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security and for the future of America.”
Trump also referenced “two terrorist attacks in New York” that “were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration,” promising to end both systems.
You can watch a clip above, via CNN.
[image via screenshot]
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