Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Trump to face immigration protesters in Duluth

Jun 20, 2018
In The News

Hours before President Trump is scheduled to take the stage at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minneapolis attorney David Glaser will hit the road. Glaser and at least two dozen friends and coworkers are planning to drive up to Duluth Wednesday to protest a new immigration strategy that has separated more than 2,300 from their parents since early May, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"We're not a group, we're not organized, we're not fundraising. This is just a bunch of individuals who are really troubled by this and are hoping that our government will see the error of its ways," Glaser said.

The state Republican party says Trump will see supporters in Duluth.

"People are traveling from all corners of the state to meet in Duluth, to hear from our president," said state Republican Party chair Jennifer Carnahan. "The president has done a great job of inspiring, motivating and encouraging individuals in our country and especially those people in Minnesota, and I think people are very energized about his visit and want to hear his message."

While Trump has the support of many of the party faithful, the immigration stance has sown division in his party. U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen said the policy is "just not what America is about" and called on the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to reverse the policy.

Democrats representing Minnesota in the U.S. House — Collin Peterson, Tim Walz, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison — also voiced outrage. And U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith condemned family separation.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis' office did not respond to an email requesting comment.

Tom Emmer, who represents a House district traditionally safe for Republicans, talked with WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman Tuesday. Emmer said he doesn't want to see separation of families, but echoed the White House's main argument on the "zero-tolerance" policy.

"Why in a country based on the rule of law, do you not enforce the laws that are on the books?" Emmer said. "And if you're not going to enforce the laws you don't thumb your nose and walk away from them, you change them. That's what we're supposed to be doing. Unfortunately, you've got members of Congress on both sides of the aisle that seem to want to point the finger at the executive because they're not willing to take action themselves."

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who represents the district where Trump will speak, said the policy is mean-spirited.

"I find it's really not so much about border protection — it's really child abuse," he said. "It's abusive, it's unnecessary, it's un-American and I think it's meant to intimidate and instill fear in people, and these are people who are already fleeing, in many cases, from terrible violence."

Trump has urged Congress to fix the immigration system and indicated he might support legislation in the U.S. House.