Democrats invite immigrants to Trump's Congress speech

For the US president's first Congress address, rivals have invited people they say could be harmed by his policies

    To send a message to Trump, Democrats invited people who have made a positive impact in the US despite discrimination [Ron Sach/EPA]
    To send a message to Trump, Democrats invited people who have made a positive impact in the US despite discrimination [Ron Sach/EPA]

    Democrats have invited immigrants and foreigners to attend President Donald Trump's first address to the US Congress, in an effort to put a face on those they say could be hurt by the Republican's policies.

    To send a message to Trump, lawmakers are inviting people like an Iraqi-born doctor who discovered elevated levels of lead in the blood of many children living in Flint, Michigan.

    They also invited a Pakistani-born doctor who delivers critical care to patients in Rhode Island and an American-born daughter of Palestinian refugees who helps people like her family resettle in the US.

    "I want Trump to see the face of a woman, the face of a Muslim, and the face of someone whose family has enriched and contributed to this country despite starting out as refugees," said Luis V Gutierrez, whose guest on Tuesday will be Fidaa Rashid, a Chicago immigration lawyer.

    Lawmakers typically get one guest ticket apiece for presidential addresses, as they will for Tuesday's prime-time speech.

    READ MORE: US cities to hold 'Day Without Immigrants' protests

    A group of Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to colleagues earlier this month urging them to invite guests who have, despite discrimination, made positive impacts on their communities.

    The focus on welcoming immigrants will also extend to the response that Democratic leaders plan for Trump's speech. Astrid Silva, who was brought into the US as a young child, will provide the rebuttal in Spanish, the AP news agency reported.

    Soon after taking office, Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning all entry to the US from seven Muslim-majority nations and pausing the entire US refugee programme.

    As a result, thousands protested what was referred to as the Muslim Ban and confusion reigned at US airports. An appeals court blocked the order.

    Under the Trump administration, there has also been an increase in deportations of undocumented immigrants living in the country. The president has argued that these steps are necessary to protect the nation.

    SOURCE: AP news agency


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.