Washington – In his first message on the state of the Union, President Donald Trump spoke lightly about the recent disasters, and stressed the agenda he wants to promote this semester in the Congress on immigration and infrastructure.
“To all those who are still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California and everywhere, we are with you, we love you and we will do it together,” President Trump said.
His message gained only 40% popularity, the lowest percentage that has been registered for a White House tenant in his first year.
The Puerto Rican Democratic congressmen Nydia Velázquez and Luis Gutiérrez, and the mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz – who was invited to the speech by Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand -, criticized the lack of a reference to their public policy to attend the emergency in Puerto Rico, where a third of the population still does not have electricity.
“Despite the fact that citizens still face a humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, the President only mentioned briefly the difficult situation of the Island to say that he ‘loves’ those who are still recovering, the same day it is announced that FEMA is cancelling assistance. That is simply shameful, “said Congresswoman Velázquez.
Congresswoman Velázquez referred to FEMA’s decision to cease the supply of water and food to victims of the hurricane.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rican Democratic Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (Illinois) said that “I expected some kind of apology to Puerto Rico, but I did not hear anything. Puerto Rico is a metaphor for how this president sees all Latinos and people of color: he does not see us as equals and does not see us as human beings. “
“If we look at how the President has treated Puerto Rico, it must be concluded that he simply does not care and probably thinks of Puerto Rico as just another ‘fucking country’,” Gutiérrez added, referring to the phrase attributed to Trump when he expressed criticism of the immigration of people from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.
The mayor of San Juan – who has staged a Twitter showdown with the US president, after his harsh criticism of the “slowness and inefficiency” of the federal response – denounced that there was “not even a mention of Puerto Rico”, in moments when “FEMA will stop providing food and water tomorrow”. “We are not on the Republican radar. We must redouble the fight … Mr. Trump lives a reality of his own that most do not share. It’s in ‘wonderland’, “said Cruz, who was in the gallery of the Chamber of the House of Representatives at the invitation of Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
With his message, however, President Donald Trump stressed his interest in promoting an infrastructure plan, which he estimated will reach $1.5 billion ($1.5 trillion). But, he warned that the plan should be levelled with contributions from local governments.
“The reconstruction of infrastructure and investment in jobs can begin in Puerto Rico. We can be the place where programs start to rebuild better infrastructure and support new companies,” said Washington resident commissioner Jenniffer González, who posted a photo on Twitter when Trump left the chamber.
The leader of the Democratic minority in the House, Nancy Pelosi warned that the plan that President Trump has presented to Congress only refers to a federal investment of $200,000 million, which she fears leaves a burden on the state governments of $1.3 billion.
Democratic congressman Jose Serrano (New York), was absent from the speech but protesting the “divisive” rhetoric of President Trump.
At the end of a year of a presidency full of controversy and blurred by the investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 elections, President Trump advocated the unity of the United States.
But, by reiterating its offer to Congress on an immigration reform plan that would allow 1.8 million people to be routed to US citizenship, limit legal immigration and build their proposed border wall with Mexico, they used immigration as the mirror of violence in USA.
He referred to cases related to Central American criminal gang MS-13 and two recent terrorist attacks in New York, as acts carried out by people who entered the US through visas obtained through a “lottery” or through the migration policy of family reunification, which he calls “chain immigration”.
Trump highlighted the federal tax reform, which he says has begun to generate bonuses for workers, promised to reduce the price of medicines and a reform of the prison system.
At an international level, he said that the fight against the terrorist group ISIS is progressing, which will increase the pressure against North Korea, which has adopted sanctions against Venezuela and reversed measures of approach to Cuba by the last administration of Barack Obama.
Trump also announced that he will cancel the efforts begun to close the prison at the Guantanamo naval base.
His speech also promoted his public policies of economic and social nationalism. “Since the elections, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing an increase in wages, “he said.
When referring to his infrastructure plan, Trump said that “we will build new roads, bridges, highways, railroads, and canals throughout our homeland. And we will do it with an American heart, American hands and American materials. “