A CBS News poll shows 72 percent of speech watchers said they approved of President Donald Trump’s immigration ideas presented during Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address, while 76 percent approved of his remarks overall.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 6, 2019
In a snap poll conducted by CNN, 76 percent of speech viewers said they feel positive about the address. According to CNN analyst David Chalian, 59 percent believed the speech was very positive, while 17 percent said it was somewhat positive.
23 percent of viewers called it negative.
Trump delivered the belated annual address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber, as he called on lawmakers to approve his “commonsense” proposal for an expanded physical border at the U.S.-Mexico border that was at the center of the government shutdown that pushed the address back a week.
“It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry,” Trump said of his plan. “In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall — but the proper wall never got built. I’ll get it built.”
He went on to describe his vision for the barrier, which he said would be a “strategic, see-through steel barrier” and not a concrete wall.
“It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down,” Trump said.
“Let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.”
Trump mentioned reports of a new migrant caravan of up to 2,000 people making their way to the Texas-Mexico border, possibly seeking asylum in the United States. The president added he has ordered another 3,750 troops to the border.
“This is a moral issue. The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial well‑being of all Americans. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens,” Trump said.
He added part of the duty is to fulfill the obligation to immigrants currently living in the United States.
“Legal immigrants enrich our Nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. I want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally,” he said.
The theme for the address was “Choosing Greatness,” a continuation of his 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” the White House said Tuesday. Trump will call for “an end to the politics of resistance and retribution,” Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday.
The United International Press contributed to this report.