California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s Spanish-language rebuttal was a stark contrast to Donald Trump’s Stephen Miller-penned State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Where Trump knocked down, Becerra lifted up. Where Trump divided, Becerra united. Where Trump demonized immigrant families, Becerra reminded America of its immigrant history, including his own.
“I am the son of working immigrants and the first in my family to walk through the doors of a university,” Becerra, California’s first Latino attorney general, said. “My parents began their life together in the United States for the same reason that many other families come: to work hard and give their children a better life.”
“The hopeful, 13-minute speech was aimed squarely at the children of immigrants, like Becerra himself, who are now coming into voting age,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The attorney general noted that “our system of government rewards whoever participates. And with 66,000 Latino citizens reaching 18 years of age, the voting age, every month, we have many hands to reward.”
“Imagine if we had the power to decide this nation’s political agenda,” he continued. “Permanent protection for the Dreamers … check! And comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken system … check! This was not the agenda presented by the president. But these are the solutions that our community seeks. In the courts and in Congress, we have to fight for our agenda.”
Becerra has already filed dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration, and promised another one should he try to circumvent Congress and declare a national emergency in order to build his stupid, expensive, and useless border wall. “We are ready to reject this foolish proposal in court the moment it touches the ground.”
Like Becerra, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams’ historic rebuttal also laid out a hopeful image of America, saying that “we must all embrace that from agriculture to healthcare to entrepreneurship, America is made stronger by the presence of immigrants—not walls.” The immigrant story, they both said, is the American story.
“I know I am the product of those who fought to open the doors of opportunity,” Becerra continued. “The optimism that characterizes the waves of immigrants who have come here runs through my blood. And if the state of our nation can be characterized as strong, it is because people like my parents—citizens or immigrants—built this country.”
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