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  World   Americas  31 Jan 2018  Visa lottery ends, merit-based system starts: Trump's immigration plan

Visa lottery ends, merit-based system starts: Trump's immigration plan

Published : Jan 31, 2018, 8:31 am IST
Updated : Jan 31, 2018, 12:16 pm IST

Donald Trump said the historic tax cuts enacted by his administration have provided relief to small businesses.

Donald Trump delivers his maiden State of The Union address, an annual message presented by the US President to a joint session of the Congress. (Photo: AP)
 Donald Trump delivers his maiden State of The Union address, an annual message presented by the US President to a joint session of the Congress. (Photo: AP)

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday delivered his maiden State of The Union address, an annual message presented by the US president to a joint session of the Congress.

The State of The Union was recently mired in controversy as tickets to the prime-time speech were printed inviting lawmakers and guests to the State of the "Uniom". Although Donald Trump has been a presidential trailblazer on the spelling front, this goof-up had left his officials red-faced. 

Also Read: What Trump said at the State of the Union Speech: Full Text

Here are the highlights from Trump's State of The Union speech:

Donald Trump on North Korea's "cruel dictatorship"

"No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland," Trump said.

"Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position," he added. 

Trump on Iran and US' nuclear deal with Iran

"When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom," Trump said.

"I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal. My administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela," the US president added.

  • "I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America," Trump said.

Trump on Jerusalem as Israel's capital

"Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the US Senate just months before I recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," the US president said.

US President Donald Trump on Afghanistan

"Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans," Trump said.

Without naming the recent Kabul ambulance attack, Trump said, "Terrorists who do things like placing bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we have no choice but to annihilate them."

  • On keeping Guantanamo Bay open, Trump said, "Today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to re-examine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay"

US President Donald Trump on ISIS

"I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. 1 year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 10 per cent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and Syria"

  • "Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet, sadly," said the US president

US President Donald Trump on Russia and China

  • "These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system," Trump said 
  • "In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford," Trump added
  • On chain migration, Trump said, "The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives," said Trump, adding, "We will now restrict that to the spouse and minor children only"
  • "The third pillar ends the visa lottery, a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people," said the US president
  • "The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a great wall on the Southern border," said Trump. He added that, "Our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country, and it finally ends the horrible and dangerous practice of 'catch and release"

US President Donald Trump on citizenship and immigration

"The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age. That covers almost 3 times more people than the previous administration," Trump said. He further added, "Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States over a 12-year period."

  • "Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families," said the US president
  • "My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans... because Americans are dreamers too," Trump said
  • Trump said, "Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country"
  • "We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity," said Trump. "The era of economic surrender is totally over," the US president added
  • "As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time to get a second chance at life," said Trump
  • "As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. America has been, is, and always will be a nation of builders," said Trump
  • "Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment -- to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit. And we can do it," the US president added
  • Trump said, "America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our wealth... The era of economic surrender is totally over"
  • "From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and, very importantly, reciprocal," the US president said and added, "We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones and they'll be good ones"
  • "Last year the USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history," said Trump adding that, "One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs" 
  • Speaking on the reforms his administration made, Trump said, "We have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in the history of our country"
  • Trump also said, "Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States, something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama... Yes, It's coming back" 
  • On energy the US president said: "We have ended the war on American Energy and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal. We are now very proudly an exporter of energy to the world" 
  • The US president said, "I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey"
  • "Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act," Trump said
  • Trump said "We are totally defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty" 
  • "Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country," said Trump
  • "Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses-many of them thousands and thousands of dollars per worker," said the US president
  • "In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the centre of American life. Our motto is 'in God we trust.' We celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support," said Trump. He added that, "Americans love their country. And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return"
  • "This is in fact our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream," said Trump adding that "No matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve absolutely anything"
  • "Apple Inc has just announced it plans to invest a total of USD 350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers," Trump said
  • "We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare.. the individual mandate is now gone" said Trump 
  • "Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. And something I'm very proud of: African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history," said the US president
  • "Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. Tremendous numbers. After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages," said Trump
  • "Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people - this is really the key - these are the people we were elected to serve," Trump said
  • Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be. We saw the volunteers of the "Cajun Navy", racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane," said the US president, praising those who helped with the rescue operations
  • Trump said the historic tax cuts enacted by his administration have provided relief to small businesses
  • US President Donald Trump said retirement pensions and retirement savings accounts have "gone through the roof". He also said he has enacted the biggest tax reforms in US history
  • "We have seen the beauty of America's soul, and the steel in America's spine." said Trump
  • "We have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous vision to make America great for all Americans again," said the US president.

Tags: donald trump, state of the union, donald trump speech, white house
Location: United States, District of Columbia, Washington