Rowan President Ali Houshmand offers thoughts after attending Trump’s address to Congress


In his first joint address to both houses of Congress, President Donald Trump retuned his rhetorical style Tuesday evening, calling for a “renewal of the American spirit” while echoing familiar policies issued from his office in the past weeks, as well as ideas from the campaign trail.

Rowan University’s President Ali Houshmand received an invitation to attend Donald Trump’s address to Congress, courtesy of New Jersey Congressman Donald Norcross on Tuesday. According to, Norcross is one of several Democratic officials who brought immigrants as guests, in hopes of sending a message to the president that many foreign-born citizens are successful members of American society.

During his speech, President Trump touched on several issues President Houshmand found especially important, including education and immigration.

“Educated people are better citizens, are more productive,” Houshmand said. “They are more peaceful, they believe more in democracy, they are much more engaged. But what was disappointing was that he didn’t get into the specific details of what we are going to do, for example, about the massive student debt in this country. “

President Trump also talked about his recent immigration crackdown, a topic President Houshmand relates to personally.

“I’m an immigrant, and I have benefited enormously from having the fortune and the opportunity and the luck to end up in this great country and become a citizen and be successful,” he said.

President Houshmand said that attending was an exciting experience, although he wished Trump would have better explained his plans to resolve the problems within America.

Infrastructure was another point in the address that stuck out to Houshmand, who was hopeful of the proposed trillion dollar investment in the infrastructural rebuilding of the nation.

“But again, the detail was not there, so I could not judge,” he said. “We have to wait and see how the talk becomes action.”

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