United States President Donald Trump used his SOTU address to appeal to Congress to stand united on policy regarding national security and immigration.
“We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before,” Trump said in his speech.
He added that “we must reject the politics of revenge” and “embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good” as well as “break decades of political stalemate.”
It marked President Trump’s first address in the House of Representatives since Democrats won the lower chamber last year which left Congress divided with Republicans maintaining control of the Senate.
While attending Democrats remained silent, Mr Trump enjoyed cheers from his supporters during the 85 minute speech, including a hand-picked crowd of guests chosen to promote his policies. Pledging to ensure that his border wall is eventually built, despite opposition from Democrats, he urged both sides of politics to compromise on a deal to improve border security.
Referring to his infamous border wall, Mr Trump said that “I’ll get it built,” and called out lawmakers who he says have supported physical barriers to illegal immigration in the past.
He said that “walls work and walls save lives” and said that politicians needed to compromise to “reach a deal that will truly make America safe,”
The creation of a border wall between Mexico and the United States was a key promise made by Trump during his 2016 election campaign. It has been widely condemned by Democrats as a xenophobic gesture designed to appeal to his supporters.
Mr Trump also briefly referred to probes into his alleged illegal behaviour, saying that there was an “economic miracle” taking place and that only “foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations” could stand in its way.