Historic City News editor Michael Gold joined almost 200 Florida voters invited to attend a live Town Hall program produced by the Fox News Channel and shot live at the Conference Center of the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club on Tuesday evening.
Fox News’ Martha MacCallum hosted the First 100 Days town hall event, focused on immigration, asking the audience to sound off on Trump’s early efforts to address the problem. Congressman Ron DeSantis participated in the discussion, pointing out that immigration is among the leading issues for voters around the country — both as a security concern and as a jobs concern.
“I grew up with a wall. I see us as a nation going toward that again. It’s horrifying,” said one audience member, Hatice Iaconangelo, a German immigrant who disagrees with President Trump’s plan to build a wall on the United States-Mexico border. “Berlin didn’t start out with a wall and the Russians shooting everybody. I want us to come together as a nation and have compassion for people.”
She urged Americans not to shut themselves off “from that which you do not understand”, and suggested border wall proponents “get to know a refugee” and talk to them about their experience before supporting President Trump’s measure.
Bill Korach, Chairman of the St Johns County Republican Party responded to Iaconangelo, telling her that he was in Berlin at the time of “Checkpoint Charlie” and the other strict post-war measures. He said the Berlin Wall was designed to keep people in Berlin, while Trump’s wall would keep people out of America.
“If we don’t have the rule of law, we don’t have sovereignty,” Korach explained.
The contentious issue of “sanctuary cities” and the controversy over the President’s effort to restrict travel from dangerous parts of the Middle East was also discussed. The town hall featured people from both sides of the debate.
Elvira Salazar, a television reporter, said Trump should use his business acumen to deal directly with the governments of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to stem the tide of immigrants from those countries through sound policy decisions.
A Fox News election night exit poll showed that among the 10% of Florida voters who said immigration was the #1 issue, 69% voted for President Trump.
Photo credits: © 2017 Historic City News staff photographer