After President Trump honored two families of victims of illegal immigration violence during his first State of the Union address, nearly the entire House Chamber rose to its feet in applause.
“For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans,” he said. He added, “Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.”
The president then shared the heartbreaking stories of two New York teenagers who were murdered by MS-13 members in September, Nisa Mickens, 16, and Kayla Cuevas, 15. The high school girls were “simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” having gone out one night to spend time with friends, and never returned home after being targeted by the gang members. Their remains were later found in a wooded area in October, and their four killers, who came to the United States illegally, have been arrested and charged with 41 crimes including racketeering, murder, attempted murder, assault, obstruction of justice, arson and other charges.
“Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country,” the president pledged during his speech.
The grief-stricken parents of both girls were present for the speech and held back tears as they received an introduction and a nod from President Trump.
“I want to you know that 320 million hearts right now are breaking for you,” he said, to which nearly the entire chamber stood and applauded. “Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you.”