Wednesday November 13, 2019
Home Politics White House E...

White House Easter egg roll: US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania welcome 20,000 Kids for Celebration

0
//
Donald Trump stands with his son Barron and wife Melania. VOA

Washington, April 18, 2017: US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania on Monday welcomed more than 20,000 children and parents to the White House to hunt for Easter eggs and participate in egg-rolling races, a tradition that dates back to 1878.

The annual “Easter Egg Roll” revolves around children, who set about finding hidden coloured eggs in the garden bushes around the presidential residence and later roll them toward a finish line aided only by wooden spoons.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

“On behalf of the president and (our son) Barron, we wish you great fun and beautiful days coming ahead of us,” Xinhua news agency quoted the first lady as saying.

Specifically, the first lady was in charge of the activities, just like every year, and this was the 139th egg race hosted at the White House, although it was the first time the Trumps had been involved.

A military band was on hand to perform for the guests and White House personnel and volunteers worked “tirelessly” to create a “memorable” experience for all concerned.

Melania and Barron, who traveled to Washington from New York — where they are living until the 10-year-old finishes the school year — appeared with Trump, accompanied by a human-sized white Easter rabbit, on the Truman Balcony to address the invited guests.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

“We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before, and we are right on track … I’ve seen those kids, and they’re highly, highly competitive,” Trump said just before blowing the whistle to launch the egg rolling race.

The children attending the event, some wearing red caps with Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” on them, took part in the race and egg hunt, decorated cookies, wrote thank-you letters to US soldiers and participated in other fun activities.

The smaller children also received visits from several Easter bunnies, along with Elmo from Sesame Street, Peppa Pig and Dr. Seuss, among other well-known personalities, who strolled through the crowd on the White House lawn and entertained them.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

The president and his family, meanwhile, sat at the decoration workshop tables and helped children compose letters to the troops, along with greeting the guests.

The first lady also took part in another traditional aspect of the Easter event, reading portions of “Party Animals,” written by Kathie Lee Gifford, to the kids.

This year, due to rain in the forecast, the White House had announced that the event would be somewhat curtailed, with only 20,000 guests on hand rather than the more than 35,000 of previous years.

A total of some 18,000 Easter eggs were made available to the kids, however, by the White House.

Also on hand for the event were the president’s two older sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, along with their families. (IANS)

Next Story

Report: Trump Administration to Eliminate Refugee Admissions to Zero in Coming Year

Since the so-called “refugee ceiling” is an upper limit, and not a quota, the government is not required to meet the annual admissions number

0
refugees
Migrant children sleep on the floor of a shelter in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, July 17, 2019. Asylum-seekers grappled to understand a new U.S. policy that all but eliminates refugee claims by Central Americans and many others. VOA

The Trump administration is considering more dramatic cuts to the U.S. refugee program, with one official suggesting the White House not allow any refugees into the country in the coming fiscal year.

In a Politico report released Thursday, government officials from several federal agencies attended a meeting last week and discussed several options that included a ceiling of 10,000 — well below the current refugee ceiling of 30,000, which is already an all-time low for the program.

The U.S. resettled 23,190 refugees since the beginning of fiscal 2019 last October. With 2½ months remaining until the count resets, the U.S. is on track to fall short of this year’s cap, according to U.S. State Department data.

Since the so-called “refugee ceiling” is an upper limit, and not a quota, the government is not required to meet the annual admissions number.

refugees
Trump repeatedly attempted a ban on refugees with multiple executive orders on travel during his first year in office, citing “national security” concerns. VOA

Multiple figures

Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, one of the primary refugee resettlement nongovernmental organizations in the U.S., said he has heard multiple figures proposed for the coming fiscal year, all well below the program’s historical annual threshold of around 60,000 to 70,000.

In President Barack Obama’s last year two years in office, his administration made a concerted effort to increase the number of admitted refugees, with a particular focus on Syrians fleeing conflict and persecution.

And since the U.S. president is the one who ultimately makes the final decision when it comes to the number of refugee admissions, President Donald Trump has leeway to further reduce the total allowed.

“The president hasn’t made an actual decision, that won’t happen till October. But I suspect they’re testing the waters a bit to see if, in fact, the public will respond to this, and if there will be any public outrage,” Arbeiter told VOA. “So it is a proposed number, it is not a final number, but a number anywhere between zero, and we’ve heard 3,000, 7,000 10,000, but anywhere in that range, what it effectively does is it closes the door on refugees, and effectively constitutes a total ban on refugees.”

refugees
The journey has become more dangerous because of greater reliance by refugees and migrants on smugglers to transport them to the U.S. border. VOA

Earlier ban attempts

Trump repeatedly attempted a ban on refugees with multiple executive orders on travel during his first year in office, citing “national security” concerns. Those worries, however, were not substantiated by data and no scientific study demonstrates a correlation between refugee admissions and elevated crime or security risks.

Each year, the president makes an annual determination, after appropriate consultation with Congress, regarding the refugee admissions ceiling for the following fiscal year. That determination is expected to be made before the start of fiscal 2020 on Oct. 1, 2019.

ALSO READ: Democrats Campaigning on Medicare for All Wrestling With How to Pay for The Dramatic Overhaul

The U.S. State Department is one of the leading agencies involved in the deliberation process with the White House over refugee admissions. In an emailed statement Friday, a spokesperson reiterated the president makes the decision on the ceiling every year “after appropriate consultation with Congress.”

Beyond that, however, the spokesperson said the State Department would “not discuss internal and interagency deliberations or communications involved in such deliberations.” Last year, however, the White House was criticized by members of Congress after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the fiscal 2019 cap would be 30,000, before the legally required meetings with Capitol Hill lawmakers happened. (VOA)