President Trump called for a bipartisan approach to solving America’s problems on Tuesday, but also doubled down on his call for a border wall, citing San Diego as a successful example.
“We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential,” he said at the beginning of his State of the Union address. “I stand ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans.”
Trump cited economic growth, new jobs, low unemployment — especially for minorities — cutting regulations, rebuilding the military and boosting energy production as his administration’s achievements.
But halfway through the speech, the President doubled down on his call for a border wall, citing a “tremendous onslaught” of criminal immigrants
“The proper wall never got built, but I will get it built,” he said. “Simply put, walls work, and walls save lives.”
Trump cited the 20-mile-long, originally makeshift wall in San Diego as an example of why walls work.
“San Diego used to have the most illegals crossing in our country. This powerful barrier almost completely eliminated crossing,” he said.
He described his desired wall as a see-through steel barrier, not “just a concrete wall.” But he did not call for an emergency declaration to divert funds from the military to erect it.
Trump, who has married two immigrant women, his third wife Melania and his first wife Ivana, said he is not opposed to immigration.
“Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways,” said Trump. “I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”
Trump also called for passage of his U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, and promised to promote “fair trade” in all of America’s economic relationships.
“America is again winning, each and every day,” Trump said. “Members of congress, the state of our union is strong.”
“I am asking you to choose greatness,” he concluded. “We must always keep faith in America’s destiny.”