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State of the Union claims: fact or fiction?

Ava Darden, Design Editor

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On Jan 30, 2018,  President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address. Many debates have sparked on social media and news sites over whether or not the President’s first year was as successful as he claims.

The State of the Union address began in 1790, when George Washington gave his first address to Congress. The annual speech has been televised since 1947, under the Truman administration.  

Since Donald Trump entered office as the 45th President of the United States, many have disagreed with his manner of public speaking, calling it messy and improvised. Because of this, many people worried about the State of the Union, which is a formal and purposeful event. Trump’s critics believed he would take extreme measures to push his agenda.

Come Jan 30 however, many were surprised at how collected the President appeared, however there were a few discrepancies with Trump’s claims and reality.

Throughout his speech, Trump referenced several “pillars,” or categories in which to organize his plans. One pillar he cited was particularly popular in fact-check write-ups across the board; The Wall. Trump has repeatedly mentioned the wall in his speeches and on the election trail, saying that a Mexican border wall would significantly reduce illegal immigration, even though most illegal immigration takes place at places where established fences and barriers already exist. Although the purpose of the proposed $18 Billion border wall is unclear.

One claim that has been ruled as false concerns the green card/ immigration lottery program. Trump claimed during his speech that the program “randomly hands out green cards without any regards for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.” which is blatantly untrue. The Immigrant visa program awards 50,000 visas to prospective immigrants in countries with low immigration rates. According to a lengthy guide from the State Department, these people must have a high school education or two years of recent work experience. They may not have  a criminal record, are subject to extensive background checks and must undergo a medical exam.

Most often, Trump’s claims needed context or were misleading, but overall were fairly true. It was apparent that the President followed a strict outline to appear more diplomatic as he addressed Congress in the Shadow of his first year.  

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State of the Union claims: fact or fiction?