The American Civil Liberties Union issued a complaint about the president’s frequent use of the word “America” in his State of the Union address.
Faiz Shakir, the ACLU’s national political director, said that the “America” President Donald Trump talked about is “exclusionary,” CNS News reported.
The word “America” was said over 80 times in Trump’s speech, according to Shakir’s statement.
“Yet, after a divisive first year, we hear and feel how exclusionary that ‘America’ is, with policies that have harmed so many vulnerable American communities,” the statement read. “The ACLU stands ready to protect these communities, both in the courts and at the polls.”
The political director was referencing the fact that the fate of “Dreamers” — the illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and were protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — is still up in the air.
“In particular, the immigration plan put forth by Trump would hold Dreamers hostage to his demands for a harmful border wall and an even larger mass deportation force,” Shakir wrote, according to CNS News. “We are at this crossroads because of the President’s deeply destructive ideas fomented by his nativist allies and divisive rhetoric.”
The statement concluded, “We will continue to stand up for these young immigrants and ensure they continue to contribute to our country. We cannot let America’s Dreamers be deported.”
During his address, Trump indicated he is willing to work with lawmakers to find a compromise for immigration reform.
“Tonight, I am extending an open hard to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion and creed,” he said.
However, he insisted that “Americans are dreamers too.”
“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream,” Trump said. “Because Americans are dreamers too.”
The Trump administration’s immigration plan has been widely criticized, and he admitted during his speech that the four-pillar plan won’t please both sides, but it’s needed anyway.
The first pillar is a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Under Trump’s plan, these immigrants can become U.S. citizens over a period of 12 years.
The second pillar — border security — involves “building a great wall on the southern border,” Trump said, in addition to hiring more agents to beef up security. The building of the border wall would follow through on a major tenet of Trump’s campaign platform.
As the third pillar, Trump called for an end to the visa lottery system, which he said randomly hands out green cards to immigrants. Instead, he wants a merit-based program that prioritizes skilled immigrants who will contribute to American society.
Finally, Trump said it is necessary to end chain migration. Though his point was met with scattered boos from Democrats in the crowd, Trump said such a move is “vital for the security and future of America.”
“Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to sign a bill that puts America first,” Trump said. “So let’s come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.”
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