Evelyn Rodriguez, the mother of a teenage girl killed by MS-13 gang members, spoke out about what it was like to attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
What's the background?
The deadly gang murdered Rodriguez's daughter, 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas, in 2016.
The same gang members also murdered Cuevas’s best friend, Nisa Mickens, who was just one day away from turning 16 years old.
According to authorities, three out of four suspects charged in the girls' murders were in the country illegally.
What did Rodriguez say about meeting the president?
Rodriguez spoke with WCBS-TV in an interview that aired Thursday, where she talked about the moving experience she had visiting with Trump as one of his special guests at the State of the Union.
"It’s just an experience that no words can explain," Rodriguez, who received a standing ovation from Congress during the address, told WCBS. "You just felt that what we are doing is being recognized, being heard."
She added that when she received the invite to attend the address, people told her not to go because she is Hispanic and, therefore, at risk of being "used" by the administration.
She went despite people's warnings and added, "I did not feel that at all."
"[Trump] 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," Rodriguez explained.
She added that her meeting with First Lady Melania Trump was just as moving.
"Her eyes got teary, you felt the realness, it wasn’t fake," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez previously told the Washington Times that she felt "honored" to be invited to the State of the Union, and said it was a "great privilege."