BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The parents of two Long Island teenagers killed at the hands of MS-13 returned from Washington D.C. where they attended the State Of The Union address as guests of the president.
Tears were shed during a standing ovation for the parents of two slain teens — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens. They sat in First Lady Melania Trump’s box as the president highlighted their anguish amid a call for stricter immigration laws.
“We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain,” he said.
“It’s just an experience that no words can explain. You just felt that what we are doing is being recognized, being heard,” Cuevas’ mother, Evelyn Rodriguez said.
Just home from the nation’s capital, the victims’ parents felt a nation paying honor to their daughters.
“That he is going to be doing the right thing,” she said.
Some have said she shouldn’t have gone because she is Hispanic.
“I did not feel that at all,” she said.
Mickens’ mother Elizabeth Alvarado said it was overwhelming.
“Very overwhelming feeling all that love for us, what we stand for, and for my daughter, and for Kayla,” she said.
“Not too many people get a chance to meet a president. We are both in shock about it,” Mickens’ father Robert said.
“He kissed me on my forehead which I was like, my god I am just a little pea in a pod, but he did acknowledge and I felt his connection that he felt my pain,” Evelyn said.
The pain of losing children to the scourge of MS-13 and the desire to make streets safe.
“Her eyes got teary, you felt the realness, it wasn’t fake,” Rodriguez said.
As they work on recovering, they made an appeal for unity to the community that is rallying around them.
They said President Trump told them privately, not to give up.