Ronald Reagan started the tradition of inviting special guests to the State of the Union. The practice has expanded since then, and now congressional lawmakers also take part, bringing guests of their own or donning a symbolic look to make a political statement. Here’s a partial list of Trump’s special guests at his first State of the Union speech — as well as a list of other special guests broken down by issue:
- Corey Adams, a welder at Staub Manufacturing Solutions in Dayton, Ohio. Adams and his wife became first-time homeowners in 2017, and they will be putting money they received from the tax bill into their daughters’ education savings.
- Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas; these two couples are parents of two girls, Nisa and Kayla, whose deaths were attributed to a string of Long Island slayings associated with a gang called MS-13.
- Officer Ryan Holets, a police officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico who adopted a baby whose parents suffer from opioid addiction.
DREAMERS AND IMMIGRATION
- Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., is bringing a DACA recipient named Adrian.
- Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., is bringing Cindy Garcia, whose husband was deported to Mexico earlier this month o after living in the United States for three decades.
- Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is bringing Flor de Maria Campos, an El Salvadoran native and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. is bringing Jean Bradley Derenoncourt, the first Haitian-American elected official in Massachusetts.
SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS AND ACTIVISTS
- Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., will bring Fatima Goss Graves, the president of the National Women’s Law Center.
- Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., will bring Rose Gunter, niece and caregiver of Recy Taylor, a black woman whose gang rape by whtie men in the 1940s sparked national activism in the black community.
SWING STATE DEMOCRATS UP FOR RE-ELECTION
- Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is bringing Lakesha Cole, a military spouse and small business owner.
- Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., is bringing Avery Smith, a heavy equipment operator.
- Sen.Tester, D-Mont., is bringing Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is bringing Mayor Carmen Yuli Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., is bringing Emmanuel Ortiz-Nazario, a resident of Puerto Rico who was displaced by Hurricane Maria.
- Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., is bringing Randy Bryce, who is running against House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2018.
- Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), who was nominated by Trump to be NASA administrator, invited Bill Nye.
- Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., will bring nine year-old Danielle Highley, one of the 24,000 Montana children who will benefit from the six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).