Irish prime minister Enda Kenny made his annual visit to the White House on St. Patrick’s Day, saying during his remarks that the celebration stems from an immigrant.
“It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy,” Kenny said, while standing next to President Trump. “He, too, of course, was an immigrant.”
Kenny met with Trump as part of an annual tradition of Irish leaders visiting the US on St. Patrick’s Day, which has become a popular celebration of Irish-American culture in the US.
During the Friends of Ireland luncheon on Friday, Kenny reportedly spoke about immigration and post-Brexit unity, as well as longstanding cultural ties between Ireland and the US.
In addition, Kenny talked about the 50,000 undocumented Irish citizens in the US who may now be in danger due to Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants. While he did not directly bring up Trump’s travel ban for six Muslim-majority countries, Kenny pointed out the legacy of new immigrants becoming an integral part of American society.
“There are millions out there who want to play their part for America — if you like, who want to make America great,” Kenny said to Trump, according to The New York Times. “You heard that before?”
Trump owns a golf course in western Ireland and has said that he intends to visit the country again in the future.
Meanwhile, Kenny was criticised in Ireland for meeting with Trump at all — over 12,000 people signed a petition urging Kenny to cancel his state visit.
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