Indian-American lawmakers: Trump’s first State of the Union address short on substance

Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal slam Trump’s first SOTU address, an annual message presented by the President of the United States Congress

After US President Donald Trump's first State of the Union (SOTU) address, prominent Indian-American lawmakers have said that it had positive moments and the tone was good, but it was short on substance.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. Photo courtesy: Twitter@CongressmanRaja

Trump laid out a four-pillar immigration plan in the 80-minute prime time address on Wednesday. The immigration plan, about the system that admits skilled people and could benefit technology professionals from countries like India, is one of the major debates that loomed over his first year in office and sought the backing of the Congress for a merit-based immigration system.

Over Trump’s speech, Democratic Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said the “highlights were the positive moments with regard to the heroes and the balconies. They were moving stories, but it was surprisingly short on substance”.

Krishnamoorthi, who has been a harsh critic of Trump, did notice that some of the tone was good. He said, “There's a jarring juxtaposition to the way he sometimes talks and the way he governed. I wish President Trump governed with the same tone of promise and cooperation that he used at times during his speech.”

Slamming Trump’s remarks on chain visas, Krishnamoorthi said, “I do not think, any Democrat is going to support a USD25 billion border wall. I just do not see that happening. But if we were to talk about some kind of package of border enhancements, border security incidents making sure that we have a system of sensors and other devices to make sure that there's more secure, I think that's something that people can live with.”

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna
Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna. Photo courtesy: Twitter@RoKhanna

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna said the platitudes and promises of the President's address were as underwhelming as his first year's accomplishments for working families and the middle class.

Khanna, who represents the Silicon Valley, said, “Americans deserve a thorough blueprint and real, effective leadership for the year ahead to support greater economic prosperity and equality for all. Instead, tonight was just another stump speech of broken promises we've heard before. What we need is action and a plan for our nation's well-being, from job creation to healthcare, to education and climate change.”

Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who boycotted State of the Union address, slammed Trump for his alleged divisive remarks.

"Trump has sown the seeds of the division during his entire Presidency. This speech, while calling for unity, in the next breath propagated the same divisive stereotypes that pit neighbour against neighbour, brother against brother and sister against sister," she said.

Trump, she alleged, created the crisis of the 'Dreamers' and is now holding 'Dreamers' hostage to build a wall that American taxpayers will fund.

Trump warned that "rivals" like China and Russia were challenging America's interests, economy and values, as he tried to sell his 'America First' agenda and key immigration reforms in his address to a deeply divided nation.

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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