Melania Trump Will Host These Guests at the President’s First Address to Congress
President Donald Trump will deliver remarks to a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday. From the speaker’s rostrum in the House Chambers, he’s expected to pitch lawmakers on sweeping legislative changes that will go beyond what he’s able to do unilaterally through executive orders. But as Trump touches on likely topics such as overhauling Obamacare, rewriting the tax code, and erecting a massive Southern border wall, elected officials won’t be the only ones in the audience.
Several special guests will be seated with First Lady Melania Trump, and the White House’s picks for this occasion are not-so-subtle nods to the Trump administration’s political priorities of filling the Supreme Court vacancy and cracking down on illegal immigrants with a criminal past.
One guest is Maureen McCarthy Scalia, the widow of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year. She also attended Trump’s announcement of federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to fill Scalia’s spot on the bench.
Subscribe to The World’s Most Powerful Women, Fortune’s daily must-read for global businesswomen.
Two widows of police officers killed in 2014 by a man in the country illegally will also be in attendance Tuesday night. The husbands of Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver— Michael Davis Jr. and Danny Oliver—are the namesakes of a piece of legislation for stricter enforcement of immigration laws. Seated nearby will be another relative of a victim killed by an illegal immigrant. Jamiel Shaw, Sr., has spoken before at Trump’s campaign rallies and he delivered remarks at the Republican National Convention about his son, a high school football player, who was killed in 2008.
The final two guests are Megan Crowley, 20, who’s survived a rare and deadly condition thanks to a drug developed by her father, and Denisha Merriweather, who credits the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program with changing her life by letting her attend a private high school. Trump wants to expand such “voucher” programs that give parents more choices as to where to send their children to school.
The White House guests who will sit with the first lady are a stark contrast to those invited by some Congressional Democrats. Several Democratic lawmakers say they are bringing immigrants with them Tuesday night.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Nev.), for instance, has invited Hameed Darweesh, an immigrant from Iraq who was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in early January because of Trump’s travel ban. Darweesh worked with U.S. military forces in Iraq and moved to the U.S. on a special immigrant visa with his family in the first few days of Trump’s presidency.
Likewise, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has invited a refugee from Iraq to accompany her to the speech.