St. Patrick’s Day. A reason to hoist a Guinness, sure, but also a time to remember the signs that said “No Irish Need Apply“. The Irish applied anyway, and left their mark on most areas of American culture over the last 200 years. Americans even elected an Irish Catholic president in JFK and today VP Mike Pence claims Irish heritage. And if the Irish are the most famous of immigrants to America — at least on March 17 — they are hardly alone. Germans, Italians, Koreans, Chinese, Iranians, Poles — indeed people from every country on earth have found an American welcome, even if some entries have been easier than others.
Today President Donald Trump holds office not least because he took an anti-immigrant stance during his campaign, first belittling Mexicans and later as president trying to ban immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. So it seemed like a jab at Trump when Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny took the opportunity to call St. Patrick the “patron of immigrants” in his address on St. Patrick’s Day, pointedly noting how the Irish “believed in the compassion of America.” Trump, in a rare green tie for the occasion, listens impassively, glancing over when Kenny first mentions the word “immigrant.” The Trump administration has not yet been accused of compassion by any world leaders.
“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