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Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the head of the Republican effort to take back the House, mocked a child during a Wednesday town hall event in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Morgan Mies, an 11-year-old girl, asked Emmer what he would do to stop efforts to separate families at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the St. Cloud Times. Rather than express appreciation at her question, Emmer attacked her.

“Did you write this yourself?” Emmer asked, pointing to the notes Mies was reading from.

Emmer eventually replied to the question, saying simply that the current immigration system is not working. But according to the St. Cloud Times, Emmer did not address Trump’s policy of ripping families apart at the southern border.

Trump’s family separation policy began in 2017 and picked up steam in 2018, eventually separating thousands of children from their families in an attempt to deter immigrants from coming to the country. Some of the children have yet to be returned to their parents, in some cases because the Trump administration did not adequately track the parents of the children they forcibly removed.

Attacking a child for asking about the policy was just one stumble in what local radio station WJON called a “tense, emotional” town hall. WJON spoke to constituents after the event, and many left dismayed at what Emmer said.

“He couldn’t give an answer. He got pinned down and he blamed a person from the other party,” Chester Rorvig, a St. Cloud resident, said. “He wouldn’t answer if he takes money from different contributors. He wouldn’t answer why he voted certain ways. Very disappointing.”

Julia Busta, another St. Cloud resident, was disappointed Emmer left the town hall while many residents still had questions they wanted to be answered.

“I don’t care if it takes two or three hours. He ran away,” Busta said.

Mies, the young girl who asked about family separation, was similarly disappointed.

“I felt like he was dodging my question,” she told the St. Cloud Times. “I learned about a lot of problems tonight, but not a lot of solutions.”

Published with permission of The American Independent.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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