U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp was back in his home state Monday, hosting town hall meeting in Salina. A standing room only crowd of about 100 gathered to listen, and to ask questions. Topics ranged from things like foreign policy and refugees, veteran’s issues, taxes, and health care.
In talking about the recent controversy surrounding refugees from Syria being allowed in the United States, the Congressman said that he has concerns. His primary concern are background checks. Huelskamp said that until he is told by the FBI that each refugee can go through a reliable background check, he against allowing them in this country for security reasons. Huelskmap added that he is in favor of helping the refugees relocate to bordering countries in the middle east.
Along with the serious topics, there were some lighter moments. Huelskamp was asked if he would consider becoming Donald Trump’s running mate, and was also encouraged to leave Washington and run for governor in Kansas.
There was a touching moment during the event, when a student from Kansas Wesleyan University held up a photo, and made a tearful request for help.
23-year-old Carley Kelly held up a photo of her and her husband as she told a story about getting married this past summer. She met her husband in college. He is a British citizen, currently in England. The couple hope to begin a life together here in Salina. But she said that the immigration process has made it nearly impossible.
Kelly said that she filed paperword in July, which was accepted in August. “I don’t know if any of you have looked at these forms, but they almost look like they are in a different language,” she said. She received the help of a college history professor in filing the paperwork.
Kelly said that there were 92 pages of paperwork, with thousands of instructions and restrictions. She cited one, saying “this form must be filled out in black ink, not blue, otherwise it will be rejected and you will not get back your $420 fee.”
Instead of the normal 5 month waiting period, her application has been delayed another 5 months. Kelly became emotional as she said “my husband and I will be spending the first 10 months of our marriage separated by 4,000 miles. I need your help, because I can’t do this anymore.” Huelskamp directed his staff to gather information for him, and said that his office will do what they can to help.
Kelly spoke with KSAL News afterwards. She said that she and her husband met while attending school in Concordia. After getting married this summer, she had hoped that they would soon be able to begin their new life together in Salina. Little did she realize how difficult the government would make it. She will appear on KSAL Radio in the near future to tell here entire story.
The Saline County Town Hall was the Congressman’s 61st Town Hall this year, and 328th such meeting he’s hosted since taking office.
Each year Huelskamp visits every county in the Kansas’ Big First District for a Town Hall. Congressman Huelskamp has held more Town Halls than any sitting member of Congress.