Ironic Since King Avoided Serving His Country
Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee passed the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which included an amendment from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) that would allow DACA recipients to serve in the military.
You’d think that policymakers from all political ideologies would support military enlistment for those who are willing to lay down their lives for the country they call home. You’d think that would be a no-brainer for both Republicans and Democrats. But you’d be wrong.
Enter Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and his anti-immigrant cohorts.
King called the passage of yesterday’s bill “a dark day” and went on to suggest a difference in loyalties between American citizens and those of immigrant youth:
“It is the wrong policy on the wrong bill at the worst time…This will bring about a major fight among those of us who have given our oath to support and defend the Constitution and mean it and those who simply gave their oath. This is a dark day both for those that defend the Rule of Law and those that seek to keep the United States safe.”
Perhaps it’s not surprising, given that a year ago King told military DREAMers, “we have a bus for you to Tijuana.
Perhaps it’s King’s own record of loyalty that deserves questioning. According to documents obtained by Shelby County Democrats in 2010, King himself actually received a student draft deferment, or a “2S” status so that he could attend Northwest Missouri State University, during the Vietnam War. When he left school, his “2S” deferment was no longer valid but his draft number 308 “insulated him in the draft lotteries held in 1970, 1971, and 1972.”
Piling onto yesterday’s anti-immigrant theatrics, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) added:
“It’s appalling that some members of the Republican conference, and frankly all members of the Democratic conference, place illegal immigrants on pedestals over American citizens, contrary to the needs and wishes of the American people…
…I cannot speak for other Washington elected officials but, as for me, I was elected to protect and promote the interests of Americans, not illegal aliens.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “How far has the Republican Party lurched to the right on immigration? Watch as opponents aggressively seek to strip this very modest and long overdue measure. Watch as Steve King and Mo Brooks continue to be the face and voice of the GOP in this Congress. Watch as Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) cowardice – in the last Congress when he refused to bring up immigration reform for a vote, and in this Congress by turning over immigration policy to House Republicans whose hostility for immigrants seems to know no bounds – sinks the party’s chances as it heads into 2016. Watch as the GOP’s resistance to practical immigration policy solutions and immigrant justice goes down as an error of historic importance. Perhaps Steve King is right. Yesterday, was a ‘dark day.’ It’s dark day in American history when policymakers try to block aspiring Americans from protecting the country they call home.”