WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump noted the importance of trade and immigration as subjects of his first State of the Union address, to be given before Congress this Tuesday, and trusted he will win bipartisan support for his immigration policies.
“I hope it’s going to be good. We worked on it hard,” Trump told reporters about his speech during the swearing-in ceremony of the new secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar.
“It’s a big speech – an important speech. We cover immigration. For many years – for many, many years they’ve been talking immigration and never got anything done,” the president said.
Trump added that any immigration law has “got to be bipartisan because the Republicans really don’t have the votes to get it done in any other way.”
“But hopefully the Democrats will join us, or enough of them will join us, so we can really do something great for DACA and for immigration, generally,” he said.
Last week the president proposed to Congress an immigration reform that would provide access to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, in exchange for $25 billion to build a wall on the Mexican border and to strengthen border security.
The number of 1.8 million immigrants is more than the 690,000 youths known as Dreamers, who currently have work permits and are protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump has ordered to expire in March.
However, that proposal got a cold reception from Democrats, and it remains uncertain whether both sides can reach an agreement before the Feb. 8, expiration of the budget law that the opposition seems unlikely to renew without a solution for the Dreamers.
Trump’s State of the Union address before both houses of Congress will begin around 9:00 pm, when the president is also expected to speak about his proposal for investing in infrastructure and about some of the international challenges facing the United States.