Trump discusses immigration, the economy at third State of the Union address


U.S. Department of Labor

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi listened to Trump’s State of the Union address from behind him. The highlight of the night was when Pelosi was seen tearing Trump’s speech after he concluded.

Amidst applause, President Donald Trump declared “the best is yet to come” for America. 

Giving his third State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, Trump emphasized many areas of progress he felt responsponsible for, including boosting the economy, implementing education plans, ensuring private healthcare, repairing relations with the Middle East and monitoring the status of illegal immigrants. These topics were key for his first campaign and by showing his progress, he looks towards a second term in office. 


Trump began his first key topics by offering statistics on his success in economic fields. Stating that he has ushered in “a blue collar boom,” one of his new campaign slogans, he claims to have created “7 million new jobs, with unemployment rates lower than any other administration of the US” in all categories. Trump also mentioned USMCA, the new trade deal which replaces NAFTA, and revealed that “unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason [he] decided to run for President.”

However, according to Associated Press, some of Trump’s numbers are exaggerated. The boost he says he started actually began under Obama’s presidency, when “the labor force rose by 5.06 million,”recovering from the recession, and then continued to rise rapidly under Trump. 


Trump featured his future plans for equalizing education when he offered an Opportunity Scholarship, meant to create school choice, to fourth grader Janiya Davis. With this, he asked Congress to pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunities Act “because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.” Trump also highlighted his plan to offer vocational and technical education in American high schools. 


Trump promised that he will “always protect patients with pre-existing conditions…medicare…and social security” and “never let socialism destroy American healthcare,” referring to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, his opponents in the 2020 election. 

He later mentioned the current struggle to pass legislation to lower prescription drug prices. When Trump stated “get a bill on my desk, and I will sign it into law immediately,” a divided Congress either applauded or frustratedly chanted “H.R.3,” referring to legislation already proposed to lower prices. 


Trump adressed his war on terrorism, including the assassination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claiming to have “100% destroyed” the ISIS territorial caliphate. He later recieved chants of  “U.S.A.” while adressing the recent murder of Qassim Suleimani. He applauded U.S. forces, both in the Middle East and in the rest of the world and reunited a military family whose father was on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. 


After praising Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for their work, Trump berated states that have implemented sanctuary policies to protect immigrants, saying that “local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public.” 

This is untrue; these cities do not hand suspects over to Immigration officials, but they are not “automatically released unless they were to make bail,” according to Zolan Kanno-Youngs, the NYT Homeland security corresponder.


During Trump’s speech, Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind him, was notably disgruntled. She only stood to clap a few times for certain people, including special guests such as Janiya Davis, and in the portions regarding education or bipartisan legislation. After the speech concluded, she appeared to tear up Trump’s speech displaying how unsatisfied she was.