Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trump Tones Down Fire and Fury to Boast of New American Dream; but Democrats Hiss Plans on Migrants and Keeping Guantanamo Jail Open

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trump Tones Down Fire and Fury to Boast of New American Dream; but Democrats Hiss Plans on Migrants and Keeping Guantanamo Jail Open

Article excerpt

Byline: David Gardner US Correspondent

DONALD TRUMP boasted about the "extraordinary success" of his first year in office as he made his maiden State of the Union address to US Congress.

Ditching the confrontational rhetoric that fuelled his rise to the White House, the president urged lawmakers to work together and insisted: "There has never been a better time to start living the American dream."

He claimed his administration was "building a safe, strong and proud America". The political attacks that fill the president's Twitter feed were absent. Instead, he said he was "extending an open hand" to Democrat lawmakers to work with him and his ruling Republicans "to seek out our common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people."

He was determined to strike an opti-mistic note in his first address to the joint chamber of Congress.

"To every citizen watching at home tonight, no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time," he said. "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 anything." While his prime-time speech was received rapturously by Republicans in Congress, Democrat lawmakers showed little enthusiasm for the new, softer Trump.

At one point during the 90-minute speech there were hisses of disapproval from the Democrat benches at his proposal to restrict the number of relatives immigrants can bring into America.

Mr Trump did not shy away from pushing his immigration policies. As well as his PS20 billion border wall with Mexico, he also wants to end international Green Card lotteries in favour of a more merit-based system. In keeping with his message of inclusion, however, he added he was "extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens, of every background, colour, and creed".

He also redoubled his recent pledge to offer a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young illegal immigrants, dubbed Dreamers, who were brought to America as children by their parents and feared deportation after he ended an Obama-era programme protecting their right to be in the US. …

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