The White House event was supposed to be in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It featured Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenney, and on March 16, the day before the holiday.
But Kenney took the event to slyly criticize Donald Trump on the president’s immigration stance (which continues to fail thanks to proper court rulings). And Trump was standing right next to him as Kenney did so.
“It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy. He too, of course, was an immigrant. And though he is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland, for many people around the globe he’s also a symbol of — indeed the patron of — immigrants.”
See more of Kenney’s address in this 90-second video:
“We were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore,” Irish prime minister says with Donald Trump in the room. pic.twitter.com/7jEfTVvIzE
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) March 17, 2017
Perhaps St. Patrick already knew of Kenney’s plea, and responded the day before this address. On March 15, two federal judges blocked Trump’s latest attempt to block immigration from specific countries.
Kenney later added (not captured in the video) more criticism, and while looking Trump straight in the eye, even holding back tears.
“There are millions out there who want to play their part for America — if you like, who want to make America great. You heard that before?
“We would like this to be sorted. It would remove a burden of so many that they could now stand in the light and say, ‘Now I’m free to contribute to America as I know I can.’ That’s what people want. All they want is the opportunity to be free.”
Approximately 50,000 illegal immigrants in the U.S. came from Ireland. While Trump’s proposed immigration ban would directly affect those from Muslim-dominant countries, it could expand to include others. Other statements by Trump, issued during his campaign and early in his presidency, indicate intentions to affect those currently in the United States, as well.
Featured image captured from video