The Daily Evergreen

McMorris Rodgers discusses immigration, other issues in tense town hall

Congresswoman faced questions on range of issues, sometimes interrupted by angry constituents

Cathy+McMorris+Rodgers%2C+R-WA%2C+answers+questions+during+a+town+hall+at+the+Pioneer+Center+in+Pullman+Thursday.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, answers questions during a town hall at the Pioneer Center in Pullman Thursday.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, answers questions during a town hall at the Pioneer Center in Pullman Thursday.

Aripirala Sai Ram | The Daily Evergreen

Aripirala Sai Ram | The Daily Evergreen

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, answers questions during a town hall at the Pioneer Center in Pullman Thursday.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen news editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, held an at times tense town hall at the Pioneer Center in Pullman on Thursday.

Rodgers, who serves as the U.S. representative for Washington’s fifth district, faces opposition from Democrat Lisa Brown for the seat Rodgers has held since winning the district in 2004.

The town hall lasted a little over an hour and covered topics such as immigration, trade, health care and gun violence.

Rodgers said the government needs to fix their immigration system soon.

“Our immigration system has been broken for years, decades,” she said. “There’s a lot of different pieces to fixing our broken immigration system. Part of it is border security.”

She also said there is a need for a border wall, as President Donald Trump has proposed, on some parts of the border to stop the arrival of illegal opioids.

Her answers to questions of immigration oftentimes drew ire from constituents in the audience, including from Margaret Peyou, who questioned her support of her party’s view of what Peyour called “separating children from their families” as a mother.

Another big issue discussed on the topic of immigration was the status of those in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Rodgers said she wants to see a fix to the program that Trump has focused on repealing this year.

“Congress has needed to act, and Congress has not acted,” she said. “It’s up to us as elected representatives to find a path forward.”

Her answers to questions surrounding DACA oftentimes drew strong reactions from the crowd, with many booing or arguing with her answers.

Rodgers broke rank with the President on the issue of trade, which has garnered more attention in Washington since Trump implemented broad trade tariffs on China, which led some to fear a trade war involving one of the state’s biggest customers of aluminum, steel and wheat.

“I am opposed to the President’s decision,” she said.

She later said she wanted the country to stay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump pulled the United States out of last year in order to prevent China from making a decision that would hurt trade.

Those in attendance also raised questions about healthcare. Rodgers, who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of putting insurance in the hands of private companies said she believes allowing for more options in healthcare benefits citizens more than allowing the government to heavily regulate the industry.

Another topic discussed at the event was gun safety, which has been a part of the national debate in recent years and weeks due to various school shootings. Rodgers said she supports the use of databases and regulations to prevent “individuals who should not have guns” from obtaining firearms and admitted to accepting donations to her campaign from the National Rifle Association.

She also cited past incidents of national databases not being updated, as well as lacking mental health resources in schools as reasons for gun violence in schools.

Various times during the town hall, constituents interrupted Rodgers answers with jeers of disapproval, especially on the topics of immigration and actions taken by the President. Many called on the representative to “stand up” to Trump in television appearances on various topics, such as immigration and DACA.

About 40 people attended the town hall and Rodgers will be looking for her seventh consecutive term in Congress during the election in November.

This story has been changed to reflect the correct spelling of Rodgers last name in the second paragraph.

About the Writer
IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Ian Smay is a senior journalism & media production major, with an emphasis in broadcast news, from Dayton, Washington. He is also minoring in criminal justice, and served as the crime & courts beat reporter from Aug. 2017 – May 2018. He can be reached at [email protected]

Navigate Right
Navigate Left

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






No P.R. No B.S. No Retreat. Watchdogs since 1895
McMorris Rodgers discusses immigration, other issues in tense town hall