In January, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rescinded her invitation to President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address to Congress citing security concerns due to the partial government shutdown. Now, the government is running on a short term continuing resolution (which ends on February 15) and President Trump will address Congress from the House chamber this evening.
One of the more anticipated parts of this gathering is the guests that are invited by Representatives, Senators, and the White House. While most lawmakers choose constituents or family members to attend the festivities, some exploit the event as an opportunity to further political debates. This year appears to be no exception.
Many Democrats have invited individuals in direct protest of decisions made by the Trump administration on a variety of policy issues. However, the guests likely to receive the most attention are those that highlight the current standoff between Republicans and Democrats— border security and illegal immigration. Representatives Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) have both invited illegal aliens who previously worked at the president’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Additionally, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) invited a mother and daughter from Guatemala who were denied asylum in the U.S. and eventually were separated for two months last spring after they were caught illegally crossing the southern border.
On the other side of the issue, President Trump will be accompanied by several guests as well, including individuals directly harmed by illegal immigration. Last month, Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, were tragically murdered in their home by an illegal alien. The terrible loss has devastated both their community and three generations of their family who will be represented at the State of the Union: the Davids’ daughter Debra, granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison. These guests will represent the thousands of families that have lost a loved one because of an illegal alien.
The president also invited Elvin Hernandez, a Special Agent with the Trafficking in Persons Unit of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations division. He has more than 18 years of Federal law enforcement experience investigating narcotics, gangs, and human trafficking. During his current seven-year assignment, Elvin has conducted numerous successful international human trafficking investigations involving transnational organized crime groups. Special Agent Hernandez will represent the brave men and women who fight against the dangers of our porous border every day.
These guest lists are demonstrative of where the respective parties stand on the issue of illegal immigration. The Trump administration is staking out a clear position that border and interior enforcement is necessary to protect the interests and security of the American. The Democrats, on the other hand, remain steadfastly on the side of illegal aliens.
To view the full list of President Trump’s guests, please click here.