Although House Republican leaders have thus far refused to schedule a vote on reasonable immigration reform, they continue to find time to let Rep. Steve King (R-IA) rant and rave against immigrants and offer up amendments to go after them.
Last June, the House passed a Steve King amendment to defund the DACA program and subject DREAMers to deportation. Earlier this year, House leaders allowed votes on similar measures to strip the President’s executive authority to stay the deportations of DREAMers and relatives of military servicemen and women. Today House leadership is once again providing a vote on another Steve King measure targeting DREAMers.
King is offering an amendment today to the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill that would require the Department of Justice to “investigate” the Department of Homeland Security’s use of prosecutorial discretion toward certain immigrants, including beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (the June 2012 Obama Administration announcement that protected from deportation and provided work permits to DREAMers).
As if his new amendment wasn’t offensive enough, Steve King somehow one-upped himself at a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, calling DACA, “Deferred Action for Criminal Aliens.” King frequently trots out the old “immigrants are criminals” stereotype in his speeches on Capitol Hill and around the country, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
It’s not accurate to say House Republicans have not acted on immigration this Congress. They have – on measures championed by the GOP’s leading nativist Steve King. This is the man who believes most DREAMers are drug-runners with ‘calves the size of cantaloupes.’ He believes that comparing immigrants to dogs is somehow a compliment. And yet, despite the clear liability he represents for the GOP’s reputation, House leaders continue to let him dictate their legislative agenda in Congress and define their brand to millions of immigrant, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Latino voters across the nation. In response to King’s cantaloupe comments from last July, Speaker of the House John Boehner called them ‘wrong’ and ‘hateful.’ So why is he still giving King votes on immigration and refusing to schedule floor time for reasonable immigration reform?