Early yesterday afternoon Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) held an immigration town hall at the Manual Career and Technical Center in Kansas City. The doors opened to the public at 1:30 p.m. in an auditorium and with an overflow room. The panel discussion was scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m.

“…Your job is not to shut up. Just do not shut up.[applause]…”

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) - Kansas City - February 4, 2017.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) – Kansas City – February 4, 2017.

Before the 2:00 p.m. start various media organizations interviewed attendees.

Media interview.

Media interview.

Packed house.

Packed house.

Early in the event an individual at the back started shouting, apparently a supporter of Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban executive order. The crowd responded with a chant. After a few minutes the individual settled down and the program continued.

Dissent.

Dissent.

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A recent refugee (left) and her translator (center) speak - Kansas City - February 4, 2017.

A recent refugee (left) and her translator (center) speak – Kansas City – February 4, 2017.

After the panel was introduced and they each made relatively brief statements the moderator read questions which were submitted from the audience and online.

“…I will say that the refugee program in my opinion is the most sustained humanitarian element of our foreign policy ever…”

“…You want to know what’s American as apple pie? Xenophobia. And it rears its head almost every generation…”

“…I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that although this is not quite the death of the U.S. refugee admissions program, it pretty nearly is…”

Steve Weitkamp - Director, Refugee Program for Jewish Vocational Service Center for New Americans - Kansas City - February 4, 2017.

Steve Weitkamp – Director, Refugee Program for Jewish Vocational Service Center for New Americans – Kansas City – February 4, 2017.

“…just this past week the ACLU across the country, its fifty affiliates, gathered together and did a Freedom of Information request to all CBPs, the Customs and Border Patrol, to find out what actually is going on because we have no idea. And if they’re violating federal law, that’s a problem, and, again, we’ll see them in court…”

Sara Baker, legislative and policy director for the ACLU of Missouri - Kansas City - February 4, 2017.

Sara Baker, legislative and policy director for the ACLU of Missouri – Kansas City – February 4, 2017.

Halfway through the panel discussion portion of the day’s events a student group started a crowd mic statement on being undocumented in Missouri at the back of the other side of the auditorium. They stopped the proceedings for a few minutes.

A crowd mic.

A crowd mic.

“…I think people are going to stand up more than we’ve seen in the last twenty-five years [applause]…”

The panel discussion and questions lasted for approximately two hours. Various groups, service organizations, and services were scheduled to have information tables in the lobby for another two hours.

Previously:

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D) – Immigration Town Hall in Kansas City – press statement – February 4, 2017 (February 5, 2017)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D) – Immigration Town Hall in Kansas City – press Q and A – February 4, 2017 (February 5, 2017)