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Nationally televised town hall meeting addresses immigration, Trump's policies

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A nationally televised town hall meeting Tuesday night in Ponte Vedra Beach focused on the topic of immigration and President Donald Trump's policies.

The gathering of 200 invited guests at the exclusive Ponte Vedra Inn and Club also drew some demonstrators, who were protesting the president and his actions in office so far.

There were disagreements Tuesday night on politics, a subject that is almost certain to lead to disagreements, even among friends.

"I think Congress has gotten off to a slow start," Rep. Ron DeSantis said. "I think the president has done much better than we have. He's following through with what he said he would do."

DeSantis started things off with cheers.

A quick poll of the audience found an overwhelming show of hands saying they were very pleased with how things are going in the Trump era.

"I think this securing our borders is a national security issue," Jack Capra, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident, said. "It's not just, and of course it's about economics, but it's a national security issue, and the federal government's job to keep our people safe, our citizens safe from external and internal threats, and certainly I think immigration is a big contributor to that."

"That's what we voted for him to do," said Clare Frauk, who was at the meeting. "That's what he's doing. Congress isn't getting behind us. I say term limits. That way you can clean house just like he's doing and drain the swamp. There's too many in there right now who are not doing their job."

People outside the event gathered to sound off, too, and most of them were passionate about their opposition to the president.

"He is all about banning immediately, without any thought," Michael Lively, with Ponte Vedra United for Progress, said. "It's the constant, juvenile tweets. It's the constant embarrassment."

"Well, to be honest, since 1980 I've been fighting for women's rights," Cathy Finke, with Ponte Vedra United for Progress, said. "I thought we made a great deal of progress over the last 30 years, and I feel as if currently we're at risk."

"All people are important, and whether it was just myself, the two of us, or these other few people over here, everybody's important," said Richard Finke, who was demonstrating against Trump.

Among the protesters was a single man proudly holding a sign showing support for Trump.

As News4Jax stood there on the sidewalk across from the event, several people shouted from their cars – some in support of the protest and some telling the protesters to go home.


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