RAMONA — Immigration, border protection and health care were the main topics discussed at Congressmen Duncan Hunter’s (R-Alpine) town hall meeting on March 11.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, an estimated 1,000 people showed up to the Ramona Mainstage for Hunter’s first town hall of the year. Though only 300 members of the public were allowed into the meeting due to the size of the venue. Constituents were able to watch a live video stream of the event at Collier Park.
Before the town hall began, people waiting in line to attend were given pieces of paper to write their name, address and question for Hunter.
“I was hoping people would ask questions out loud rather than in writing,” said Patricia Kearney of Lakeside.
For Kearney and other concerned constituents, they were given the opportunity to ask their question aloud. Roughly 10 questions were asked, mostly due to the amount of booing and chants against Hunter throughout the event.
Hunter, who criticized President Donald Trump’s first travel ban, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, said at the town hall that he was in support of the President’s new ban.
“I full-heartedly support Trump’s executive order,” Hunter said.
Hunter also voiced support for Trump’s planned border wall, which brought audience members to their feet in opposition.
Once the topic of health care began, Hunter stated he believes the GOP’s replacement plan for the Affordable Health Care Act will make insurance cheaper and accessible.
“I don’t believe in guaranteed healthcare. I believe in guaranteed access to healthcare that people can afford,” Hunter said.
He added, “Once you get rid of government mandates, health care gets way less expensive and insurance will be less. We’re not guaranteeing health care for everyone. We’re guaranteeing access to health care for everyone.”
Daunte Costatino expressed concern to the proposed health care plan as being too expensive for people, despite access to it being provided.
Hunter said that he would be hosting more town halls in the future, though no dates have yet been announced.
“I don’t know if you could tell this,” Hunter said. “I enjoyed this. I know you’re yelling at me. But I’m telling you what I think…What makes this great is that we’re able to talk and yell and talk and yell and chant but that’s what makes our country great.”