Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8) recently conducted an in-person Town Hall focused on immigration, most notably the Muslim ban which has been halted for the time being.
He’s just announced that he will be holding yet another Town Hall in a few weeks. Since that announcement, ICE has conducted immigration raids in his district, which he has said he didn’t know about until afterwards. He will undoubtedly have a lot to talk about with residents and his colleagues in Congress on this issue.
Congressman Gerry Connolly (V-11) also held a Town Hall event, in person, where residents were permitted to ask their questions without being pre-screened by staff. Immigration ICE raids were conducted in Annandale this past week. Representative Connolly was said to have been told after the fact.
What did the residents of Virginia’s 10th district get from their Representative, Barbara Comstock? A tightly-controlled phone call that lasted one hour. Eleven pre-screened questions were permitted, while 6,000 callers sat listening, their voices set on “mute” for the entire time. No ICE raids have been reported in her district as of yet, but that could change at any moment.
What a terrifying prospect. No matter the differences in our opinions on illegal immigrants, I hope we can all at least agree that there should be transparency and due process for any mass raids such as these. When I read about the raids, my first thought was, “What about their families?” Many of these people (the Trump administration says they were mostly Hispanic men), were “immediately deported.” How many families did that leave in the lurch? How many more are sitting at home right now, petrified to leave the house or answer when there comes a knock on the door?
When I read the breaking news, I immediately went to Representative Comstock’s social media pages, looking for recently-released statements that addressed this or any of the other issues that I’ve been so disturbed about lately. Issues that no one got to ask about in the phone call. I was met with nothing but fluff. Complete radio silence on the scandals embattling the Trump administration, and silence on the raids being conducted on our neighbors and fellow residents.
No matter our opinions on illegal immigrants, I hope we can all agree that it must be terrifying to walk around if you’ve got brown skin and you forget to carry your “papers” with you. According to news sources, ICE had set up check-points in immigrant areas and detained any person that walked through that couldn’t immediately prove their legal right to be there.
Raids in our area, new scandals inside the presidential administration daily, and us with a Congresswoman who hides in her office and ducks quickly around to photo-op events. What is this place coming to? When will Rep. Comstock hold a Town Hall so we can ask our questions face-to-face?
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