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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.

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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.

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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.

(Jim Lo Scalzo / European Pressphoto Agency)

If disaster strikes the Capitol during the State of the Union address, the fate of the nation falls to the designated survivor, a member of the Cabinet directed to steer clear of the building just in case.

Typically, the assignment goes to a lower-ranking member of the Cabinet. This year, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has the job.

The tradition of a designated survivor probably dates to the 1960s Cold War era, but official records don’t begin until 1984. Although this is President Trump’s first State of the Union address, there was a designated survivor during his first address to Congress last year: Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, the only holdover from the Obama administration to serve in Trump's Cabinet.

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In an abrupt about-face, the U.S. military released data Tuesday showing insurgents in Afghanistan are growing stronger after a Pentagon auditing office complained it had been prohibited from releasing the unclassified statistics.

Even after 16 years of war, only about 56% of Afghanistan’s 407 districts are under control of the central government in Kabul. An additional 30% are contested, and 14% are under insurgent control, the Pentagon data showed.

In addition, an estimated 60% of the Afghan population is under central government control, down from 65% last February.

The Russian Embassy said Sergey Naryshkin was there for “consultations” with his American counterparts “on the struggle against terrorism.”

Senate Democrats expressed outrage Tuesday at reports that the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service visited Washington recently despite being on a U.S. government blacklist that prohibits many dealings with him.

The Russian Embassy in Washington said via Twitter that Sergey Naryshkin, who heads the Russian intelligence agency known as the SVR, was in Washington last week for “consultations” with his American counterparts “on the struggle against terrorism.” The embassy cited a report in the state-controlled Russian news agency, Tass.

“This is a serious national security issue,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “Russia hacked our elections. We sanctioned the head of their foreign intelligence. Then the Trump administration invites him to waltz through our front door.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), center, and lawmakers in black to support the "Me Too" movement at State of the Union
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), center, and lawmakers in black to support the "Me Too" movement at State of the Union (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Members of Congress often use guests invited to the State of the Union address to convey a political point, and for President Trump’s first address, the seats will be filled with visitors — including more immigrant Dreamers than ever before — whose attendance is aimed at making a statement.

And it’s not just the galleries serving a political purpose Tuesday night. The women in Congress, particularly House Democrats, will be wearing black, a nod to the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

Not all of messages will be resistance to Trump. There will be small-business owners benefiting from the GOP tax cuts, recovering opioid addicts giving voice to the crisis and victims of mass shootings from communities across the nation.

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(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

The Trump administration can’t seem to decide how much of a confrontation it wants with California over gas guzzlers.

As the Environmental Protection Agency moves to loosen car and truck mileage standards, California is very much standing in its way. The state holds a waiver that allows it — and any state choosing to go along with it — to keep intact the strict pollution requirements imposed by the Obama administration.

Those standards are a crucial component of California’s climate action plans — plans the Trump administration does not much like. As long as California holds the authority to set mileage standards, the Trump administration is powerless to allow substantially more gas guzzlers on the road.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) speaks to reporters Tuesday morning.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) speaks to reporters Tuesday morning. (Mark Wilson)

House Speaker Paul Ryan defended special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Tuesday even as he supported the release of a Republican memo about classified surveillance that could undermine the investigation into Russian interference with the presidential election. 

"This is a completely separate matter from Bob Mueller's investigation, and his investigation should be allowed to take his course,” Ryan said.

"There are legitimate questions about whether an American's civil liberties were violated,” Ryan said.