Speed Reads

state of the union 2018

Congressman on Trump's SOTU address: 'Whoever translated it for him from Russian did a good job'

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) was able to come up with one barbed compliment for President Trump, following his first State of the Union address.

"Although I disagreed with almost everything he said, for Trump, the speech was clear and well-delivered," Gutierrez said in a statement. "Whoever translated it for him from Russian did a good job." Gutierrez is one of the most outspoken members of Congress when it comes to helping young, undocumented people brought to the United States as children, and he said that while he remains hopeful, after hearing Trump's immigration proposal, he can't see Congress and the president coming to an agreement that protects DREAMers.

"The White House agenda is to gut legal immigration in exchange for allowing some of the DREAMers to live here," he said, and Democrats and Republicans who both support legal immigration won't go for this. "The DREAMers themselves have said they do not want legal status if it comes at the expense of others who will suffer more as part of the bargain," he added. "The speech did nothing to bring the pro- and anti-immigrant sides closer together."

Trump also refrained from mentioning the devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, and Gutierrez said Puerto Rico is "a metaphor for how this president sees all Latinos and people of color: he does not see us as his equals and he does not see us as his fellow human beings." When Gutierrez was born in 1953, "separate but equal was the law of the land," he added, and while he's proud of the progress that's been made since that time, he was "hoping to get through my life without having to witness an outwardly, explicitly racist American president, but my luck ran out."