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AZ Progressive Groups React to State of Union Address

Latino groups gathered Tuesday evening in Phoenix to watch the State of the Union address. (Promise Arizona)
Latino groups gathered Tuesday evening in Phoenix to watch the State of the Union address. (Promise Arizona)
January 31, 2018

PHOENIX – Progressive groups in Arizona are giving President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night mostly negative reviews, saying they like the points he made about prison reform and lowering drug prices, but were deeply disappointed in his approach to other big issues, including immigration and the environment.

Tony Navarrete, deputy director of Promise Arizona says he likes that the president is offering a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, but feels they shouldn't be held hostage in order to get funding for a border wall.

And Navarrete objects to the multiple times Trump associated immigrants with gangs and terrorists.

"Every single time where he was discussing immigration, he put them in the light of criminals,” Navarrete points out. “The president has to stop using isolated situations to paint an entire group of people as criminals."

Trump also demanded an end to the visa lottery, instead favoring a merit-based system.

And he wants to limit immigrants from sponsoring extended family members.

The president also mentioned the massive wildfires in California and lauded the heroes who helped out after Hurricane Harvey destroyed parts of Houston.

But Josselyn Berry, co-director of Progress Now Arizona, noticed he made no mention of global warming.

"I mean I don't know how you expect to deal with those symptoms without talking about the root cause of it, which is man-made climate change,” she stresses. “We continue to see flooding, giant massive storms and just act like that's not happening."

The president focused instead on reviving the energy sector, specifically fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal.

But he made no mention of the policies he's pursuing – ending or minimizing environmental protections, shrinking national monuments and opening up most of the U.S. coastline to offshore drilling.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ