Things That Matter

What We Learned From President Trump’s State Of The Union Address

CSPAN / YouTube

President Trump delivered his State of the Union address to a split Congress for the first time Tuesday night. Topics like border security, immigration, abortion and health care dominated his address. There was even calls for unity among both Democrats and Republicans as he outlined bipartisanship policies like criminal reform and infrastructure improvements. Yet during his 1 hour, 22 minute speech, one of the longest on record, President Trump used his address to blast Democrats and rev up his political base. Here are the biggest takeaways from the State of the Union.

The president will not back down on a border wall.

With just 10 days left to avoid yet another government shutdown, President Trump spoke adamantly about his mission to secure a wall along the U.S. southern border. “I will get it built,” Trump said. “Walls work, and walls save lives.” Yet most of his claims about immigration and border wall security were either greatly exaggerated or false all together. Illegal border crossings have only declined in the past two decades while reaching their lowest point back in 2017 since 1971. He also made claims about drugs “pouring” into the country due to ineffective borders yet the huge majority of drugs are seized at ports of entry, not along the open border.

Immigration continues to be a divisive issue in the country.

President Trump attempted to correlate illegal immigration and violent crime during his address but many in the Democratic side say this is just not true.

“The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans,” Trump said during his address.

According to NPR, studies show that illegal immigration doesn’t increase the prevalence of violent crimes. Studies show that native-born residents are more likely to be convicted of a crime than were immigrants in the country lawfully or unlawfully.

The President also mentioned, “large, organized caravans” coming to the U.S. but failed to provide any information on the claims. In January, a new caravan of migrants from Central America was expected to come north but many now plan to remain in Mexico. This is large part thanks to policies put in place by the new Mexican government that will supply job opportunities while they wait to seek asylum.

President Trump took aim at New York’s landmark abortion law.

Just last month, lawmakers in New York passed a new law expanding abortion rights in the state on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The law would protect access to the procedure until 24 weeks of pregnancy in an effort to standardize abortion protections if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned. Trump made the call on Congress to pass legislation that would prohibit what he called “late-term abortion”. His remarks further intensify the controversial issue versus “pro-life” and “pro-choice” advocates. Abortion is expected to be an issue that Trump has said he plans to focus on during the 2020 election.

Women are getting all the headlines.

While President Trump spoke about the number of women benefiting in the economy, it was the number of women, particularity in the Democratic side, who grabbed the headlines.

“All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before …and exactly one century after the Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before,” Trump said.

Many Democratic congresswomen were wearing white as a sign of solidarity and in honor of the suffragists. But after Trump made his remarks about the great number of women elected to Congress, they began to cheer and applaud the historic significance.

“You weren’t supposed to do that,” Trump said jokingly. Cameras focused in on new high-profile additions to Congress on Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) who gave high fives all around. It was one of the rare bipartisan moments throughout the entire address.

The address in many ways was a kick-off to the 2020 election.

As President Trump aspires to be a unifying political leader he will need to address more than just concerns of his own base. Issues like global warming and increasing antisemitism among minority groups were either not talked about at length or ignored all together during his address. The president was elected with less than a majority of the popular vote in 2016 and has yet to made a concerted effort to expand his base in the two years since taking office.

The 2018 midterm election showed cracks in his base starting to form as Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives and now must work with a divided congress. President Trump may have used the State of the Union as an opportunity to broaden his base perhaps one last time before the campaign for the 2020 election begins. If he is to gain new supporters, it’s going to take a lot more than just speaking to his base.


READ: Latina Activist, Undocumented Immigrants Will Attend President Trump’s State Of The Union

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This Texas Teacher Thought She Was Private Messaging Trump About ‘Illegal’ Students And It Got Her Fired And People Are Laughing Way Out Loud

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This Texas Teacher Thought She Was Private Messaging Trump About ‘Illegal’ Students And It Got Her Fired And People Are Laughing Way Out Loud

Fort Worth ISD

Georgia Clark allegedly thought she was sending private tweets directly to President Trump. The educator was trying to alert the president to what she perceived as a take over by “illegal” students in her school district. Now, the teacher with enough time to tweet about students she didn’t like has more time to tweet after being fired for her unsavory social media activity.

Georgia Clark, a former English teacher at Amon Carter-Riverside High School, has been fired following inappropriate tweets.

Credit: @emayferris / Twitter

Clark sent a series of tweets to President Trump asking for help in removing “illegal” students from the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD). According to Clark, FWISD is “loaded with illegal students from Mexico” with the high school she teaches in being “taken over by them.” She insinuated that the presence of these students led to drug dealers moving unimpeded on the campus.

News of her termination is being met with approval from the national community.

Credit: @nkjemisin / Twitter

According to NBC News, Clark’s tweets first started to get attention last week and she deleted her Twitter account on May 29 trying to hide the tweets. However, at that time, the school district had become aware of her tweets and she was placed on administrative leave.

The FWISD held a special board meeting to vote on Clark’s employment and her termination was a unanimous decision.

The 8-0 vote cemented Clark’s fate in the educational system of Fort Worth. According to The New York Times, all of the attendees who chose to speak at the special meeting spoke against Clark. There were no meeting attendees that defended Clark and her inappropriate tweets. Clark’s supporters appear to all be online behind screens and keyboards.

This is not the first time Clark has been in trouble with the school system because of her racist language.

Credit: @lissatrodgers / Twitter

School records show that the educator used racist terminology against students of color in her classrooms since 2013. The teacher, who has been teaching in the district since 1998, once separated the students in her class by race seating Mexican students on one side and Black and white students on the other. She then reportedly said the Mexican students were Mexico and the white and Black students were America.

Most people who have seen the story as holding firm that she should be barred from teaching.

Clark is reportedly seeking a hearing from the Texas Education Agency since she thought her tweets were private messages. We’ll update you as this story develops.

READ: White Students Wear Du-Rags And Cornrows In Racist Thug Day Celebration

Congress Won’t Let Trump Build His Border Wall So A Group Of Citizens Spent $22 Million To Build An Illegal Wall In New Mexico

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Congress Won’t Let Trump Build His Border Wall So A Group Of Citizens Spent $22 Million To Build An Illegal Wall In New Mexico

webuildthewall / Instagram

While Congress may have put a roadblock to President Trump’s proposed border wall, that hasn’t stopped a few from building their own barrier. An organization called We Build the Wall said that it built a half-mile wall at the border on private property in Sunland Park, New Mexico. The group raised millions of dollars in a GoFundMe campaign and says it’s just getting started on the project.

More than 300,000 people pitched in more than $20 million to fund money for the proposed barrier.

The project began last year when veteran Brian Kolfage started a campaign to get a border wall built with donations. The hope is the new project will help limit the flow of migrants trying to enter the United States near El Paso, which has seen a huge rise in illegal crossings.

Those that sit on the advisory board for We Build The Wall include Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former White House adviser Steve Bannon.

“It’s amazing to me how crowdfunding can successfully raise a lot of money, and how many Americans care about this,” Kobach told CNN.

Jeff Allen owns the property where We Build the Wall’s team is working on the wall. He told CNN that the construction is long overdue after years of him trying to stop migrants crossing on his property.

“They are doing an incredible job,” he said. “I have fought illegals on this property for six years. I love my country, and this is a step in protecting my country.”

The project is already facing some problems from state and local leaders questioning its legality.

Elected leaders in New Mexico and Texas see the project as a publicity stunt to advance a political message. Javier Perea, the mayor of Sunland Park, issued a cease-and-desist order because the group failed to obtain the required permits for the project.

“The city has not provided any permits, it has not approved of the construction that has gone up already,” Peter Ibardo, a city spokesperson, told The Texas Tribune. “They built the structure without authority or any building permits from the city.”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham agrees with Perea that the construction of the wall comes with a personal agenda. She says this new barrier won’t do much to stop migrant families from entering the country.

“To act as though throwing up a small section of wall on private land does anything to effectively secure our southern border from human- and drug-trafficking or address the humanitarian needs of the asylum seekers and local communities receiving them – that’s nonsense,” she said in a statement.

The news comes a week after a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration can’t use federal emergency funds to build portions of the border wall.

In what has been a revolving story about funding for a new border wall, President Trump once again stopped by the courts. A federal judge granted an injunction this month stopping the Trump administration from redirecting funds for the wall using a national emergency declaration.

For now, it seems like U.S citizens will be ones trying to put together a new border wall while things get sorted out in court. The group wants to start construction on a second wall but there is no timetable or update if they will be legally allowed to do so.

READ: Supreme Court Agrees To Decide If Border Patrol Agents Can Kill Kids In Other Countries

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