“It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy. He too of course was an immigrant.”
Standing simply toes away from President Donald Trump, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Thursday bashed the essential basis of anti-immigrant views that carried Trump to the presidency.
In his remarks, Kenny launched right into a prolonged monologue about St. Patrick, whom the White Home proceedings had been honoring.
"We were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore," Irish prime minister says with Donald Trump within the room. pic.twitter.com/7jEfTVvIzE
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) March 17, 2017
It’s becoming that we collect right here every year to rejoice St. Patrick and his legacy. He too after all was an immigrant. And although he’s, after all, the patron saint of Eire, for many individuals across the globe he’s additionally an emblem of — certainly the patron of — immigrants.
Right here in America, in your nice nation, 35 million individuals declare Irish heritage, and the Irish have contributed to the financial, social, political, and cultural lifetime of this nice nation during the last 200 years. Eire got here to America as a result of, disadvantaged of liberty, disadvantaged of alternative, of security, of even meals itself, the Irish believed.
And 4 many years earlier than Woman Liberty lifted her lamp, we had been the wretched refuse on the teeming shore. We believed within the shelter of America, within the compassion of America, within the alternative of America. We got here and we grew to become People. We lived the phrases of John F. Kennedy lengthy earlier than he uttered them: We requested not what America can do for us, however what we might do for America. And we nonetheless do.
It’s not possible to disregard the parallels to fashionable immigration that Kenny is drawing on right here. Within the 19th and 20th centuries, Irish immigrants had been considered a lot as Latino immigrants are considered at the moment — individuals of a different race, who supposedly (however not actually) commit more crimes, and who’re taking jobs from native-born People. This anti-immigrant resentment is why America handed anti-immigration laws within the early 20th century.
Now we take Irish contributions to America without any consideration. Irish People are merely our neighbors, who’ve helped construct up the financial system and have contributed to US tradition — by, for instance, giving us St. Patrick’s Day.
The immigrants that Trump decried on the marketing campaign path — by calling them rapists and criminals and proposing policies to limit unlawful and authorized immigration — merely share the identical hopes and goals. Disadvantaged of alternative and freedom of their house nations, they wish to construct a free and affluent life in America. Trump is now, identical to anti-immigration politicians of earlier eras, the one standing in the way in which of that.