Trump in speech: Immigration highlights difference between political, working class

Trump in speech: Immigration highlights difference between political, working class
© Stefani Reynolds

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE on Tuesday night will argue that immigration is the issue that illustrates the split between the country’s working and political classes as he pushes for stricter immigration policies in his State of the Union address. 

“No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards,” Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech shared by the White House.

Trump is expected to tell lawmakers that they have a “moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens.”

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Immigration is likely to be a central theme of Trump’s State of the Union address, which comes amid a standoff between the White House and congressional Democrats over funding for a wall along the southern border.

The president triggered a recent 35-day government shutdown over his demand for $5.7 billion to a fund a wall along the southern border. Trump has recently also raised the prospect of declaring a national emergency to secure the funds, something opposed by Democrats and many Republicans.

Trump has long portrayed Democrats as a party that supports "open borders." Democrats have offered billions of dollars for other border security measures, but argued a wall would be a poor use of money.

The president’s speech on Tuesday night will also lay out his priorities for the coming year, including lowering prescription drug prices, boosting the economy and implementing foreign policy. 

“The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda," Trump will say, according to excerpts. "It is the agenda of the American People."

While Democrats have clashed with Trump over immigration, members of both parties have expressed a willingness to work on lowering the cost of drugs and investing in infrastructure. 

White House surrogates have for days insisted that the president’s address on Tuesday night will have a focus on the need for comity and bipartisan cooperation.

However, Trump on Tuesday morning lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.) and hours later reportedly laced into a host of Democrats during a private lunch with television anchors.