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Steve King Still the Face, Voice, and Driver of House GOP on Immigration

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Notorious anti-immigrant extremist Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is again making incendiary immigration comments, while crowing about his role in setting the congressional direction on immigration policy.  Like nearly everything associated with Steve King, his latest remarks would be viewed as extreme and almost laughably out-of-touch except for one thing: King has become the voice and face of the House Republicans on immigration.

As Roll Call lifts up, Rep. King recently told his local newspaper, the Spencer Daily Reporter, that he would not apologize for his incendiary comments on immigration, such as the accusation that many DREAMers are not actually good students but drug-runners with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”  King claimed that he has been able to “educate” some pro-immigration policymakers about the “facts.”  Speaking of, about Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a long-time champion of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, King said: “I found another way to get them to pay attention. So for example, [Senate Majority Whip] Dick Durbin, as far as I know, no longer describes the dreamers as valedictorians. We’ve corrected that major flaw and sometimes we have to, otherwise it distorts the public’s understanding.”

“You’d like to think that Steve King is out there twisting in the wind, but the fact is that House GOP leadership has coddled him at every turn.  The only immigration vote taken by the full House in this Congress was a King amendment to deport DREAMers and others in June 2013.  After putting out a strong draft of policy principles, Speaker Boehner and the rest of House leadership threw cold water on the legislative debate, giving King and the rest of the ‘hell no’ caucus exactly what they wanted,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice.

“What happened to the Republican Party’s rebranding effort, in light of the relentless demographic and political changes underway?  Continuing to let Steve King be the voice, face, and driver of immigration policy in the House is the definition of insanity.  The GOP simply won’t be able to compete for the growing Latino, Asian, and immigrant vote while Steve King is still calling the shots,” Tramonte concluded.