Jorge Ramos has an interview with Steve King this weekend, and solicited questions to ask this morning via Twitter:
I have an interview with Rep. Steve King on immigration reform. Any questions?
— JORGE RAMOS (@jorgeramosnews) July 19, 2013
Here’s one: exactly when does Steve King think the US border will be secure enough? What does he want to do with the 11 million Americans-in-waiting until then, and what does he want to do with them after?
In an interview with Daily Caller today, King actually displayed a touch of nuance (just a touch–this is a guy who has a habit of comparing immigrants to dogs and cattle) in his extreme positions against immigration reform. King said that he might consider granting some immigrants legal status once the border is secure. He doesn’t really explain what that status might look like or who might be eligible for it. And notably, King does not–and cannot–explain exactly how secure the border must be before legalization is allowed to happen.
This is a fundamental problem with the GOP position on immigration reform. They know that we cannot–logistically or morally–deport the 11 million immigrants already in the US. The status quo is untenable, which only leaves some form of legalization. But they insist that there must be border security first–without ever explaining how much border security is enough. If we lived by the GOP rules, we would forever be chasing their (changing) standard on how secure the border must be, and we would never get around to humanizing the system for the 11 million or making it more economically dynamic for America’s future immigrants.
Check out King’s interview with the Daily Caller below. It’s not even that King won’t say how much security will make the border secure enough–it’s that he doesn’t even know what that would look like:
The most vocal opponent of comprehensive immigration reform in the House of Representatives says that he would “likely” support at least a limited “amnesty” once the southern border is truly secure.
“I am opposed to the legalization of people that are unlawfully here unless and until we restore the respect for the law and the expectation that it will be enforced,” Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King told The Daily Caller. “Short of that, we sacrifice the rule of law — at least with regard to immigration — for all time.”
But when asked if he would support some type of legalization of illegal immigrants after the border is secured to his standards, King said he probably would.
“I would say the answer to that is likely yes and the time to take that discussion up is after we restore the rule of law,” he said. “I think it is a three- to five-year endeavor if we had an honorable president.”
Opponents of comprehensive immigration reform often define “amnesty” to mean any form of legalization for illegal immigrants residing in the United States, even if the legalization comes with penalties, such as a fine.
Throughout the interview King waffled between reluctance to outright endorse what he defines as amnesty and conceding he would support a form of amnesty if there is real border security.
“So I am reluctant to say that amnesty is a possibility because I am not very confident about the probability of getting to that point [of border security]. We haven’t seen a president that can do this in my adult lifetime,” he said later in the interview, before specifying the type of border security he is calling for.
“If all those things are working and we get down to the people whose roots go deep, who could clearly prove that they were brought here by their parents without knowledge that they were breaking the law or without responsibility — or that particular responsibility — I think we can have that discussion then,” he elaborated, suggesting he would support something along the lines of the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act was a bill introduced in the Senate that would have provided a pathway to legalization for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors by their parents.
Asked if he would consider going beyond something like the DREAM Act if the border was secure, King said, “I don’t know.”
“I haven’t contemplated that,” he went on.
“I think the real equation is anything that I might support for legalization at some place in the future cannot sacrifice the rule of law. That’s a tough equation to come to, I know. So I am even hesitant about the DREAM Act kids because what is that scenario?”
“The rule of law is more important than our level of sympathy for people whom, many of whom wasn’t their fault,” he added. “If we destroy the rule of law forever in this country, at least in regard to immigration, then that means the rule of law will be eroded in many other categories as well.”
The Daily Caller also interviewed a couple of King’s most anti-immigrant deputies in the House, Reps. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Notably, they also couldn’t say when enough is enough when it comes to border security–and Barletta spent his time comparing immigrants to terrorists. Read the full article here.