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Tuesday’s House Hearing on Agricultural Labor: Steve King Tries to Insist Obama Isn’t Enforcing Immigration Law, Gets Smacked Down

by Dara Lind on 02/28/2013 at 10:30am

Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on agricultural labor and a guest-worker program saw anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) getting a little bit of a smackdown when he tried to insist that immigration enforcement has been lax under President Obama–despite reams of evidence that, to the contrary, it’s been ever more draconian.  Here’s the quote:

KING: We’ve seen the lack of enforcement since ’86 and I would submit that since the ’86 amnesty act was passed there’s been a decrease in enforcement of our immigration law in each succeeding Administration.

He even made a hand gesture to illustrate the “decrease.” Which is helpful, because we wouldn’t know how to visualize a decrease in immigration enforcement over the last 25 years. Especially when every chart that we’ve seen indicates that enforcement is at record levels — record personnelrecord spending levelsrecord deportations.  Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) was quick on the rebuttal, soliciting every testifying witness to speak about how wrong Rep. King was.

GARCIA: I don’t think anyone there would agree with the statement that we’re not — we’ve been decreasing enforcement, right? I don’t think any of you would think that’s what’s going on, right? You can say it into the mic, it’s all right, we can hear you over here.

STALLMAN: Based on the reports from our members in various parts of the country, it seems like enforcement by ICE has been increasing.

GARCIA: Mr. Carr?

CARR: Not just by ICE but by Department of Labor. It’s been increasing quite a bit.

GARCIA: Mr. Brown?

BROWN: ICE, Department of Labor, and Department of Justice.

GARCIA: That’s good to hear. Mr.–

KASHKOOLI: Yeah, ICE enforcement, absolutely up. All you have to do is look at how much it costs for someone to get across the country. That market’s working.

GARCIA: We spent $18 billion dollars on enforcing the border. That’s more than we spend on the FBI, DEA, and all other federal law enforcement.

There goes Steve King, marginalizing himself again…

You can watch the Rep. Garcia part of the exchange below.  You can watch the full hearing here.

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