As Trump prepares to give his State of the Union address next week, immigrants who will be attending as guests in the U.S. House Chamber will cast a shadow on Trump’s unrelenting push for another government shutdown over funding for his unpopular and unnecessary border wall.
Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, former undocumented employees of Trump’s golf courses, will be there in the audience as guests of Democratic House Members. Morales and Diaz will be a stark reminder of the hypocrisy of the Trump administration’s stance against immigration and a reminder that the Trump Organization has systematically and criminally exploited undocumented immigrant workers at Trump properties for decades — even as the Trump Administration has pursued its agenda to criminalize, demonize, and ostracize immigrants.
Jin Park, the first DACA beneficiary to become a Rhodes scholar, will also be in attendance, as will a number of Members of Congress who are themselves immigrants, formerly undocumented immigrants, or the children of immigrants the President and his team assert will never assimilate into American culture and society.
All of these attendees are a stark contrast to the ugly picture Trump will undoubtedly paint of immigrants and refugees in his speech as a security, economic or cultural threat. But in the wake of November’s midterms and as Trump’s approval ratings continue to sink, it’s clear that the more Americans hear from Trump on immigration and the border, the less Americans are buying Trump’s xenophobic pronouncements and policies.
According to Pili Tobar, Managing Director of America’s Voice: “Trump hasn’t learned that his anti-immigrant playbook is failing him. He keeps going back to the well of xenophobia and divisiveness to rile up his base and there is no doubt he will try this again in his State of the Union address. On the night of the State of the Union address, President Trump will be surrounded by hardworking immigrants like Vicky and Sandra who are living reminders of how Trump’s hypocrisy, border wall obsession and anti-immigrant policies have hurt the Republican Party and the country. The national emergency he plans to declare in the coming weeks is ringing hollow with the American people. Meanwhile, actual security matters around the world go unaddressed and the real humanitarian consequences of his border and immigration policies go unresolved.”