- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Democrats are looking to make political statements with guests they bring to President Donald Trump’s first speech before a joint meeting of Congress, while Republicans are taking the more subdued approach of inviting their relatives and interns.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan is bringing a college student who received a deportation exemption to be his guest at Trump’s speech Tuesday night. Pocan, who represents Madison and south-central Wisconsin in Congress, is joining with other Democrats bringing guests they say will demonstrate inclusion, equality and diversity.

Pocan’s guest is Lupe Salmeron, who received a deportation exemption under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program after immigrating to Wisconsin from Mexico 12 years ago. Salmeron was class president at the Madison high school she attended and is now a first-year student at Edgewood College in Madison and hopes to become an immigration attorney.

“As an undocumented immigrant, I’ve always felt safe growing up in Madison, but since the election President Trump has opened up a whole new world of fear among immigrants,” Salmeron said in a statement.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is bringing Roddy Rice of New London. He worked at Neenah Foundry for 38 years. Baldwin says he will highlight the need to buy American.

Democratic Rep. Kind, of La Crosse, is bringing Eau Claire neurologist Dr. Donn Dexter. Dexter advocates for national health care reforms that protect people with neurological disorders and more funding for the National Institute of Health.

And Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore, of Milwaukee, will be joined by Deborah Parker. She is a national advocate for funding the Violence Against Women Act grants and other gender-based violence programs that could be targeted for reductions or eliminations by Trump, Moore’s office said.

Not every guest is attempting to score political points.

Republican Rep. Sean Duffy, of Wausau, is bringing his wife, Rachel. Fellow Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman, of Glenbeulah in Sheboygan County, is bringing his brother-in-law Tim McGuire. And Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Menomonee Falls, is bringing his office intern.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, both Republicans, did not respond to questions about who their guests will be.


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP and find more of his work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/scott-bauer

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