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Updated 4:31 AM  |  January 31, 2018
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Trump’s speech, in three minutes

President Trump’s first State of the Union address clocked in at just over an hour and 20 minutes, making it one of the longest such speeches in U.S. history. But we’ve condensed it into three minutes, in the video below.

Trump’s plan would dent ‘chain migration,’ not end it
President Trump delivers the State of the Union speech before members of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

President Trump claimed that a single immigrant can bring in virtually “unlimited” numbers of  relatives and said he would end what he calls “chain migration,” which refers to the practice of immigrants bringing other members of their families to the United States. His administration has said immigration should be based on skills and merit and less on family ties.

Under current law, citizens can sponsor their spouses, children, parents and siblings.

Trump would restrict family migration – “chain migration” as he puts it — to spouses and minor children. This plan would put a dent in family migration, but it would not end it.

To sponsor relatives, citizens must prove they can support them financially and the immigrants must pass background checks and meet other requirements.

Trump also portrayed “chain migration” as a danger to the United States, pointing out that some immigrants who arrived through family sponsorship or the visa lottery have committed crimes or attempted terror attacks.

Akayed Ullah, accused of setting off a pipe bomb in New York in December, came to the United States from Bangladesh in 2011, according to the Department of Homeland Security. He obtained a green card as the child of a sibling of a U.S. citizen sponsor.

And Uzbekistan-born Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who allegedly killed eight people and injured a dozen others in November by driving a pickup truck down a bicycle path near the World Trade Center in New York, arrived in the United States in 2010 through the diversity visa lottery.

The visa lottery grants 50,000 green cards a year to immigrants from low immigration countries. Trump has also proposed to end this system, a plan that won support in a 2013 bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate.

Trump mentions American ‘science and discovery’ — and that’s it for science
President Trump, near the conclusion of his address, referenced science for the first and only time. “Americans fill the world with art and music,” he said. “They push the bounds of science and discovery.” And that passing remark was the sum of science on Tuesday night.
Past presidents have mentioned specific discoveries and technological advancements during their State of the Union speeches. In 1997, Bill Clinton referenced Mars probes and the International Space Station as part of a push for space exploration. A decade later, George W. Bush pointed to the discovery that researchers could “reprogram adult skin cells,” as a way forward through the ethical mire of embryonic stem-cell research. Barack Obama gave a shout-out to NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, a guest at his speech in 2015.
But it was not unexpected that Trump did not dwell on the state of American science. Even when presidents have mentioned science during a State of the Union address, rarely have they discussed it in the context of their policies.
The Trump administration, however, has come under fire from scientists and scientific organizations for its lack of support. Many of the White House’s science-related positions remain unfilled. Trump has not named a science adviser. The staff of the Office of Science and Technology Policy has dwindled. As president, Trump has yet to tweet the word “science.”
“We are frustrated by the disregard for science shown by the U.S. administration. Our economy depends on innovation, science and technology, which should be top priorities for any nation’s leader,” said American Association for the Advancement of Science chief executive Rush Holt in a statement after the address. “As other countries increase their attention to and investments in science and technology, the United States will make falling behind a new reality.”
Trump’s speech was unusually long

Trump’s State of the Union speech was unusually long, clocking in at nearly an hour and a half.

Trump calls on Congress to end defense spending caps
President Trump delivers the State of the Union speech before members of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

President Trump reiterated entreaties from military leaders on Tuesday when he called for Congress to end defense spending caps and increase funding for the Pentagon.

Trump used his first State of the Union address to link America’s ability to push back against militants in places in Iraq and Syria, and confront powerful states like Russia and China, to a strong defense budget.

“In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense,” he said. “For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.”

While defense spending has been constrained as a result of the 2011 Budget Control Act and the across-the-board budget limits it created, the Trump administration is hoping to restore military funding. The administration is expected to request $716 billion for its 2019 defense budget, a significant increase.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other military leaders have said that the spending caps and a lack of a regular budget process endangered military readiness and jeopardized American security.

Fact-checking and analysis of Trump’s State of the Union 2018 address

The Washington Post is live-blogging President Trump’s first official State of the Union address to Congress tonight. The speech begins at 9p.m. Eastern time and the president is expected to be, well, presidential.

Post national reporters Ashley Parker and Michael Scherer write that Trump aides say “he will deliver a unifying speech on American values and patriotism, one that touches on everything from the just-passed Republican tax plan and the new immigration proposal to trade, infrastructure and national security. The question is whether the swirl of conflict and diversion that has monopolized so much of his first year in office will distract from the message he is trying to deliver.”

The Post’s chief congressional scribe, Paul Kane, points out that it’s not just Trump whose behavior can be unpredictable — it’s also that of “mercurial” congressional Republicans when it comes to the president.

From Paul: “Sometimes they are in bitter fights with Trump, challenging his nationalist policy approach as an affront to traditional conservatism while also questioning his mental fitness for office. Other times they drift into a deep public swoon for the president that seems to directly contradict their previous criticism.”

Check back here for frequent updates on the speech, including real-time fact-checking and analysis of what the president says on key issues like the economy, national security and infrastructure.

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