Oklahomans rallied at the State Capitol Saturday as part of a nationwide effort called March 4 Trump.
State Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City, spoke at the event and said Trump hasn’t had a chance to begin governing yet.
“Donald Trump is my president. Let’s give him a chance. Let’s stop bashing him,” Yen said. “The administration that he has put together, I think there are some really sharp people in there. Let’s see what happens”
An anesthesiologist, Yen told the crowd that the rising cost of insurance premiums has rendered the Affordable Care Act nonfunctional. He thinks the Trump administration will keep the campaign promise of repealing and replacing the healthcare law. At the same time, Yen acknowledged the law has covered nearly 20 million people nationwide.
“But it’s ungodly expensive,” Yen said. “Repealing and replacing it is going to be very, very complicated, because those folks that lost their healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act, they don’t just magically get that old care back.”
The Oklahoma Highway patrol estimates between 250 and 300 people attended the rally.
Many people brought flags and signs, including several with anti-immigration message and the campaign mantra “build the wall.” Another read, “Preserve our nation, end immigration.”
Yen, an immigrant from Taiwan, says undocumented immigrants should have to leave the country and come back through the legal process.
“We have had some terrorists kill people in this country that were in this country, left, then came back,” Yen said. “I want Oklahoma to be a safer place for me and my wife and our 5 children and if that means doing more screening of people that are coming or returning from those seven countries, so be it.”
The seven countries Yen was referring to are Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Sudan. Trump issued an executive order to temporarily ban travel from those countries, but a court ruling blocked the order.
Patrick Boone traveled from Claremore, Oklahoma to be at the rally,
“This place has went downhill. America has strayed from God and we have to get closer to him and his values,” Boone said. “I think Trump tells us how it is, I think he tells us things the media won't. The Muslim invasion is what worries me the most.”
A small group of protesters brought signs highlighting alleged ties between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.
“These people are chanting ‘USA! USA!’ With the policies that have been enacted so far, there will probably be no USA after 4 years of this,” protester Hollis Harper said.
Trump supporters and protesters shared a few heated words that gave rise to some contentious moments, but there was no violence at the rally.