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“Something I’m very proud of: African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded. And Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history,” President Trump said Tuesday.

He’s right on black unemployment but not quite right on the rate for Latinos.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that the unemployment rate for blacks dropped to 6.8% in December, the lowest since the government began tracking the figure in 1972.

(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

The tax cuts enacted last month are not the biggest in American history, despite what President Trump said in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

“Just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history,” Trump said.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated in October that the tax cuts as a percentage of total economic output — also known as gross domestic product — would be the 12th largest since 1918.


The state of our union is strong, because our people are strong.

Yesenia Rodriguez, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador, makes <i>pupusas</i> in MacArthur Park.
Yesenia Rodriguez, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador, makes pupusas in MacArthur Park. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump claimed his immigration clampdown will protect American workers because U.S. policies “have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.”

It’s a long-standing argument by groups advocating for a slowdown in legal immigration.

But economic studies have questioned that premise, instead finding that the influx of people and workers instead provides an overall lift to the economy.

President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address Tuesday night. The White House released the following excerpts ahead of the speech.

(Patrick Egan/New York University, Gallup data)

President Trump’s approval with the American public sits lower than that of any of his predecessors at this stage of their tenures, and his support has declined since the year began.

Improving Trump’s standing is one goal that the White House has for tonight’s State of the Union speech, although history indicates that such addresses seldom, if ever, have a significant impact.

Importantly, Trump’s drop-off has hit unevenly across the states, as Patrick Egan, a political scientist at New York University, showed with this chart of Gallup data from each of the 50 states. The numbers compare Trump’s vote share in the 2016 election with his approval rating.

  • White House
  • Immigration
(Getty Images)

As part of his immigration proposal, President Trump called for ending the diversity visa lottery program, which admits about 50,000 people per year mostly from Eastern Europe and Africa. Trump falsely said the program “randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit or the safety of our people.”  

Contrary to Trump's repeated claims, the visa lottery does not “randomly” hand out lawful permanent residency visas or green cards. 

The State Department runs a computerized drawing from entries each year. To diversify the immigrant pool, foreign nationals from countries with low numbers of immigrants to the U.S. are allowed to enter the lottery — hence the name, diversity visa lottery program.

Democrats’ plans to bring beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to Tuesday’s State of the Union address so riled one Arizona Republican that he called for the migrants’ arrest.

Rep. Paul Gosar asked Capitol Police and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to check the identification of all guests attending the State of the Union and arrest “any illegal aliens in attendance” as well as “those using fraudulent Social Security numbers and identification to pass through security.”

“Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported," Gosar tweeted.

Jim Lo Scalzo / Associated Press
Jim Lo Scalzo / Associated Press

President Trump’s first State of the Union address is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Pacific time. The Times will have you covered on a variety of fronts. 

Watch with us on our livestream, where reporters and editors are doing real-time analysis via Slack chat.

Get real-time fact-checks and quick video clips in this space.

President Trump is delivering his first State of the Union speech Tuesday in what’s become a familiar spot: at a historic low in polls, furious over the Russia investigation and frustrated that he is not getting credit for a good economy and keeping his promise to shake up the government.