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NV Progressives Object to Trump's State of Union Proposals

Nevada progressives gathered in Las Vegas to watch the State of the Union address. (Will Pregman)
Nevada progressives gathered in Las Vegas to watch the State of the Union address. (Will Pregman)
January 31, 2018

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada progressive groups say they're disappointed in President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Although he offered general support for fighting opioid addiction, getting felons back to work and lowering prescription drug prices, Trump continued his attacks on immigrants and barely mentioned the environment.

Erika Castro, a DACA recipient and an organizer with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action (PLAN Action), says the president's offer of a path to citizenship for Dreamers should not be contingent on funding for a border wall or preventing immigrants from sponsoring members of their extended family.

"He only is looking to further criminalize people – like my parents – that are undocumented, and people of color in general,” she states. “This isn't a solution, it's just another attack on our community.

“When he talks about ending 'chain migration,' that's just another racist way that he wants to block family reunification and keep families apart."

Trump mostly focused on national security, energy and the economy, taking credit for record low unemployment among minority groups, and for gains in the stock market.

Meanwhile, Nevada environmental groups say the State of the Union address was notable for not for what was said, but for what the president didn't say.

Vinny Spotleson, program director for the Nevada Conservation League, notes that Trump brought up Americans' resilience after Hurricane Harvey's floods and the wildfires in California, but didn't acknowledge what many scientists consider a major contributing factor – the warming climate.

"But Trump failed to mention any role that climate change played in those and then, later in the speech, actually talked with glee about ending the, quote-unquote, 'war on clean coal,'" Spotleson points out.

Trump made no mention of his recent tariff on foreign solar panels, which negatively affects Nevada's solar installation industry, and focused instead on renegotiating trade deals he considers unfair.

Trump talked up the U.S. as an energy exporter, but did not discuss his plans to shrink some national monuments or open up much of the American coastline to oil drilling.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV