NEW YORK (AP) — The mother of a 16-year-old Long Island girl who was beaten to death by alleged MS-13 gang members has been invited by the White House to sit in the audience as President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address.

Evelyn Rodriguez also was invited to meet with the Republican president before Tuesday’s speech.

Her daughter, Kayla Cuevas, and her 15-year-old friend were killed in a Long Island neighborhood that has become the epicenter in the fight against MS-13 violence. The gang is blamed for 25 killings on Long Island since January 2016.

Rodriguez told The New York Times she was honored to be invited and said it wasn’t about immigration.

She said everybody should put their political agenda aside and think about what’s going on in the country.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.)

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