Enda Kenny, the prime minister of Ireland, on Thursday was critical of the basic building blocks that made up the anti-immigration policies of the President Trump administration. In his speech, the prime minister began a soliloquy about the importance of St Patrick’s day, a day the white house was celebrating. He talked about St Patrick, whom the United States was honouring.
It’s befitting that we have come together here together. It’s appropriate that annually, we come around to celebrate St Patrick and what he stood for. He, like some of us already know, was a migrant. And even though he is a saint of Irish descent, for a lot of people around the world he’s a representation of all immigrants.
Here in the United States of America, in your incredible nation, 35 million individuals are of Irish descent, and the country of Ireland has contributed immensely to the political, socio-economic, and cultural parts of this wonderful nation over the last 200 years.
Ireland nationals came to the United States because of devoid of liberty, devoid of opportunity, devoid of safety and food, the Irish persevered.
And forty years before the statue of liberty hoisted her lamp high into the night sky; we were the despicable dump on the sea shore.
We had faith in the abode of the United States, in the humanity of the United States, in the opportunity the United States promised. We came to the country and became citizens. In the immortal words of John Kennedy “We do not ask what America can do for us, but for what we can do for the United States.” We had lived these words before they were uttered by the great former president of the United States.
It is not possible to forget the analogs to recent migration that John F. Kennedy was trying to paint here. In the 19th and even 20th centuries, migrants from Ireland were seen just as the migrants are perceived today. They are seen as people of a separate race, who allegedly carry out more atrocities and are robbing American nationals of their jobs.
This opposing view to migration is why the United States Passed anti-immigration in the early 20th century.
Now we take the influence of Irish nationals lightly. Irish-Americans are just our friends, who have joined us in making and building up a viable economy and changed the culture of the United States.