Garrett toes the Trump line

In U.S. Congressman’s Tom Garrett’s letter in the Rappahannock News about the Muslim-travel- ban-that-isn’t, he repeats almost verbatim the line he took during his second Facebook “Town Hall” meeting on February 15.

There, instead of meeting his constituents face to face, Garrett sat with the U.S. Capitol dome framed in a window behind him and sought to rationalize Trump’s executive order.

As in his letter, Garrett swung around to his point via claims that the Trump White House is just building on President Obama’s immigration restrictions on the natives of seven “terror-prone” Middle Eastern countries. For our protection, Trump is banning them from our shores completely. For a while.

That includes doctors with patients waiting for them in Chicago, students returning to finish their degrees, high-tech employees, and children travelling with their parents. Not to mention legal green-card holders.

No matter that no terrorist attack against the U.S. has come from a citizen of these countries. That the refugees among them have submitted to years of “extreme vetting” to verify their bona fides. That some had risked their lives for American troops as interpreters. Or that Saudi Arabia, home of the 9/11 killers, is not on that list.

Of course it’s a Muslim ban. The president promised one, and now he’s delivered. To be clear, on January 27 he promised to fast-track Christians immigrants from those countries. Congressman Garrett knows it and protests too much. And so did courts across the country that blocked the ban as unconstitutional.

Instead of glossing over the White House’s mean-spirited incompetence, Tom Garrett must tell us — directly — how he will stand up for the residents of Rappahannock, a county he professed to love in his Facebook paean to 5th District gerrymandering.

Will he protect county residents who have health insurance for the first time through the Affordable Care Act, now that Congress vows to destroy it? Or women deciding on their own health care? Will he protect our natural environment — unlike his recent vote against clean streams (HR 7)?

Will he compel Sheriff Connie Compton to harass law-abiding immigrants coming into our community? What is he doing about student debt crushing our families? Or the unfunded state mandates driving up our property taxes? What is he doing for us?

Mary-Sherman Willis

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