Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) announced on Thursday that a Knoxville firefighter whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant will be her guest at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address next Tuesday.
Twenty-two-year-old Pierce Corcoran was killed just after Christmas when he was hit by Francisco Eduardo Franco Cambrany, a 44-year-old illegal immigrant who was charged with criminally negligent homicide and driving without a license or insurance. Blackburn's guest for the address will be his father, Knoxville fire captain D.J. Corcoran, whose wife will also be in attendance as the guest of Rep. Tim Burchett (R., Tenn.).
"The tragedy the Corcoran family has endured is one no family should ever have to experience," Blackburn said. "The attendance of Pierce’s parents at the State of the Union serves as a reminder that we as a Congress have a duty to keep the American people safe. It is an honor to attend with Captain Corcoran."
Burchett, who was Knox County's mayor before he was elected to Congress last year, said he's known the Corcoran family for years.
"My wife gladly gave up her spot for the Corcorans, and I’m honored to have them in attendance at the State of the Union," said Burchett. "I have been friends with their family for years, and I can’t imagine how difficult it was losing Pierce."
"Congress has to get to work on stronger laws and increased border security so tragedies like this might be prevented in the future," Burchett added.
The announcement comes a day after Trump said he will be bringing "border-related" guests to the address as well.
"I will say that some of them will be border-related, some of them will be people who have suffered very badly because we didn’t do what we should’ve done in a very dangerous part of our country, and so that’s going to be a part of it," Trump told the Daily Caller.