Ivanka Trump speaks at luncheon held in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- President Trump's daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump drew a crowd to a Fresno fundraiser Monday, aiming to help Congressional candidates here in the Valley.

Ivanka landed at Fresno Yosemite International Airport and made her way the short distance over here to Harris Construction for a luncheon.

Fresno Police dogs gave the grounds a sniff and officers kept everyone a safe distance from the building.

Inside, GOP donor Michael Der Manouel described the atmosphere as, "Really laid back. It was kind of just a fireside chat."

Donors paid $1,250 and up to eat a meal and attend the forum with the First Daughter, getting details on her work-life balance and some of the issues Republicans are facing in Washington, DC.

Meanwhile, a small group of protesters gathered outside for a chance to try and get a message across.

Stephanie Dominguez-Walton and Michele Pett came from the Bay Area with the loudest complaint, about the Justice Department policy of separating undocumented parents from their children.

"We decided this was important enough to us to speak up on behalf of these families that are being torn apart," said Dominguez-Walton. "These families who've fled their countries of origin because their lives are in danger and because we are America, the place where you should be able to come for safety and asylum."

Action News asked donors if they discussed the hot-button issue over lunch.

Der Manouel said, "Nothing directly. I mean, I think everybody wants to get this issue dealt with. It is a legacy issue that's more than 20 years old, and nobody's happy about it."

Another group of protesters stayed out of view with posters targeting the anti-union vote at Gerawan Farming.

One of their leaders paid to get in and carried a letter to Ivanka Trump, asking for the president's help against California's Ag Labor Relations Board and Governor Brown.

Donors told me she promised to read it on the plane ride out of Fresno.

The luncheon raised at least $100,000 and donors told me a lot of it would go to help Valley Congressional candidates David Valadao, who was here, as well as Jeff Denham and Elizabeth Heng, who is battling Jim Costa.
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