President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, and while pundits are still sifting through his remarks, Texans were watching in bars or living rooms, waiting to hear about the pertinent issues of emergency response and immigration.
The speech begins about halfway through the video posted below.
Trump opened with remarks about the victims of natural disasters the nation saw during his first year as president, specifically speaking on Hurricane Harvey, and commending the actions of first responders, military and volunteers in Houston.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert was one of those people, recognized by name early on in the address. President Trump detailed how she was one of the first on the scene after Harvey, helping Houstonians out of the floodwaters.
“Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives,” the president said.
The founder of the Cajun Navy also attended the State of the Union as a guest of honor, receiving a mention for their efforts in getting the large volunteer force to Texas to help in the midst of the chaos.
An issue spurring chaos with the short-lived government shutdown is immigration. Houston’s proximity to the Mexican border makes immigration policy especially relevant, and DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has most recently been in the limelight as thousands of “dreamers” face deportation.
“Dreamer” comes the “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM)” proposal, which former President Barack Obama could not get through Congress. They are the undocumented young people who were brought to this county illegally as children by their parents and have grown up in American society. A vast majority come from Mexico.
According to the Chronicle, Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee invited Houston resident, dreamer and FIEL Founder Cesar Espinosa to the speech. He said they were “generally content” with the president’s “openness” to legalizing 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who are primarily dreamers. However, the wall and the ending chain migration remain a high concern.
Reports are already surfacing of Democratic dissatisfaction with the president’s remarks on immigration last night, where he pledged to end ‘chain migration’ and stated the open border between the U.S. and Mexico was allowing drugs and gangs into the nation unchecked.