Tonight, President Donald Trump will deliver his address to a joint session of Congress. The president and first lady have invited some special people to be their guests at the big event.
The White House guest list includes Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, widows of California police officers killed in the line of duty by a person living in the country illegally, and Jamiel Shaw Sr., whose son was shot by an undocumented immigrant.
The guests highlight the president’s focus on crimes allegedly committed by immigrants in his push for tighter immigration controls.
Trump has also invited Maureen McCarthy Scalia, the widow of Justice Scalia, according to Politico.
In addition, Jamiel Shaw Sr., whose son, Jamiel Jr., was shot to death in 2008 in Los Angeles by an undocumented immigrant, was also invited. Shaw spoke at the Republican National Convention in July.
Some Democrats have said they will be bringing illegal immigrants to the address. According to CNN:
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a Democrat from New York, announced Monday that she had invited Hameed Darweesh to the event. Darweesh is an immigrant from Iraq who was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in early January because of Trump’s executive order suspending the refugee program and temporarily restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. He assisted US forces in Iraq and relocated to the US on a special immigrant visa with his family just as Trump was beginning his presidency.
Darweesh was among the first immigrants revealed to be detained under Trump’s executive order and was part of a class-action lawsuit that led to a temporary block of the order. A federal judge in Washington later stayed the order pending an argument on the merits, a decision that was affirmed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Velazquez and fellow New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler went to the airport when Darweesh and others were detained and escorted him out of the airport and into the United States upon his release.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus released a statement on Monday saying 10 of its members have invited people who will be personally affected by Trump’s immigration policies, including two children with parents who were recently deported.
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat, will bring an immigration attorney who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Senator Dick Durbin, another Democrat from Illinois, will bring Aaima Sayed. “Sayed is an ‘American-Muslim Dreamer’ and medical student who was granted legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by former President Barack Obama, a statement from Durbin’s office said.”
Gutiérrez also said he will not praise a single one of Trump’s comments.
“This year, I do not plan to applaud this President or leap to my feet to give him a standing ovation — even in the unlikely event he says something I agree with,” Gutiérrez wrote.