President Donald Trump visited Iowa on Tuesday and delivered an “America First” speech to a packed house of Republicans in West Des Moines that evening.
About mid-way through his speech, while addressing the situation at the southern border and illegal immigration more generally, the president paused his address momentarily to recognize an “Angel Mom” whose daughter was killed by a drunk-driving illegal alien in 2016.
Trump gives “voice” to Angel families
“We’re joined and honored tonight to be with a very special woman, an Angel Mom — I love Angel Moms. These are great people, their lives have been so terribly hurt,” Trump said. “But Michelle Root is a special woman whose precious, beautiful daughter Sarah Root was killed by an illegal alien one day after graduating from college with a 4.0 GPA … she was the number one student in her class. Please come up.”
“This man gave us a voice, Angel families a voice. No other president would hear our stories,” Root said, after joining the president on stage. “I was fortunate, if you want to say fortunate, enough to have him in the running to become our president. A lot of other Angel families did not have that voice until he came along.”
“We’ve always had that voice for Sarah,” Root continued. “She was killed January 31st, 2016 within a day of graduating with a bachelor’s, as the president has said; 4.0 in criminal investigations.”
“Her killer was 16 years old when he came across the border, unaccompanied, illegally. He killed my daughter at age 19. He had a blood alcohol of .241, street racing, hit the back of my daughter’s SUV that was stopped at a stoplight, going 70-plus miles an hour,” she explained.
“My daughter didn’t have a chance. I do not — and the reason I speak out — I don’t get Sarah back at the end of the day. I speak out because I don’t want this happening to any of you,” Root said.
“Our wonderful president stands by us and does everything in his power to help us because he doesn’t want to see another family have to go through what our family what we’ve gone through,” she continued. “And I thank him for that and I’m proud of him for standing as strong as he has against the opposition he has to face daily.”
“I am so proud of you, and so is my family and my son,” Root added, turning toward the president. She said, “Love you,” as she gave him a kiss on the cheek and returned to her seat.
As Root left the stage to resounding applause from the audience, Trump said, “Great woman. Your beautiful girl is looking down right now at you and saying, ‘I’m proud of my Mom.’ Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.”
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of Angel Moms and Dads and Families and what they’ve gone through is incredible. It’s for no reason whatsoever. So we promise to always remember Sarah and to fight in her memory to protect America’s children,” he added.
You can watch Trump’s entire speech in West Des Moines right here. The portion with Michelle Root begins around the 27:30 mark: