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Ahead of Steve King’s Freedom Summit, Iowa Community Leaders and DREAMers Set the Record Straight on Immigration

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Iowans from Across the State Send Clear Message to 2016 Hopefuls & Preview Plans for Targeting Candidates on Immigration at Saturday’s Summit

Listen to a recording of today’s call here.

This weekend,  Rep. Steve King (R-IA) will host the Iowa Freedom Summit–the first major gathering of 2016 Republican candidates in what will undoubtedly be a key state during next year’s primaries.  Steve King is a notorious, anti-immigrant extremist who often sets the House agenda when it comes to immigration policy.  Most recently, he introduced legislation threatening to defund the president’s administrative relief for immigrant children and their families and for years he has used the Iowa Caucuses to push fellow Republicans further to the extreme on immigration.

Ahead of this Saturday’s Summit, Iowans from across the state are joining forces to set the record straight on this important issue and call on summit attendees to do the same. 

As Matt Hildreth, Director of Online Programs at America’s Voice and based in Larchwood, IA, explained: “As 2016 hopefuls continue to pass through Iowa, they must be prepared to answer some key questions on immigration: As president, would you continue the President’s DACA and DAPA programs?  Do you support the efforts of Steve King and the majority of House Republicans to deport DREAMers and the parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents?  And do you think Congress should pass immigration with a pathway to citizenship?  Iowa supporters of immigration reform will make sure that avoiding these questions are not an option.”  See also Hildreth’s new Des Moines Register op-ed, “Steve King is making the Iowa caucuses irrelevant.”       

Also, in advance of this weekend’s summit, leaders in Iowa released a new Des Moines Register ad reminding candidates where the majority of Iowans stand when it comes to immigration reform.  Said Harold Heie, CASA Board Member and organizer of the ad campaign:

Contrary to the myth that Iowans are against immigration reform, our Des Moines register ad presents evidence that the majority of Iowans support Immigration Reform. The purpose of our ad is to bring this fact to the attention of all 2016 presidential candidates who are coming to Iowa.

As Monica Reyes, CO-Founder of DREAM Iowa, explained, King’s attempts to undo the President’s executive action are not just about policy, they’re personal.  

The attacks from the GOP on DACA/DAPA have serious implications for me and millions of other undocumented members of the American society.  I have accomplished so much through the channels of upward mobility that DACA has provided and do not want all of it taken away.  If 2016 presidential candidates are going to share Steve King’s stance on immigration, we (undocumented members of the American society) will not give up what we have worked hard to earn and will inform the Latino community (fastest growing voting population) of their stance and will NOT support voting for them.

In addition to today’s ad release, the DRM Action Coalition and DREAM Iowa also announced plans for targeting candidates at this weekend’s summit and going forward in the 2016 election cycle.  Erika Andiola, CO-Director of DRM Action Coalition, was made famous for confronting King and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) at the Iowa Steak Fry last year.  As she explained on today’s call:

One of the things we want to want to make sure is that people know where the candidates stand on immigration, especially when it comes to the President’s DACA and DAPA programs.  Furthermore, we want to make sure the candidates have a grasp on what Latinos are really looking for and are further held accountable for associating with anti-immigrant leaders like Steve King.  At DRM, we are going to continue posing this moral dilemma to 2016 hopefuls in both parties.  If a candidate wants to win in 2016, then they should stay as far away from Steve King as possible.