Iowa Republican in Driver’s Seat Unless and Until House Republican Leadership Takes Action – And Soon
Washington, DC – In an extended interview with the authors of the “The Way North” series from the New York Times, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) makes clear that he plans to drive the Republican Party’s immigration direction in the 2016 presidential cycle and beyond, saying, “I’d like to have the presidential candidates hammer out their positions on it as we go forward and they see what we can accomplish, say in the 2017 session. I wouldn’t take it up at all with this president in the White House.”
“This is a self-inflicted and potentially mortal wound for the Republican Party,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “As they head into presidential primary season next year, Steve King is positioning himself to play immigration kingmaker in his home-state Iowa caucuses and to pull the entire party’s immigration stance to the right in the process. King is admitting that he has no interest in pursuing a legislative path forward until after the 2016 presidential cycle. This means that the national Republican Party in 2016 will, once again, be defined as anti-immigrant to millions of Latino, Asian-American and immigrant voters throughout the nation – unless their leaders dramatically shift course in the coming days and stand up to the loud-but-not-large Steve King wing.”
In response to Steve King’s comments that most DREAMers were drug-runners with ‘calves the size of cantaloupes, Speaker of the House John Boehner called them ‘wrong’ and ‘hateful.’ Yet House leadership has refused to allow immigration reform with a path to citizenship to come up for a vote but has allowed votes on measures championed by King. We recently passed the one year anniversary of the House passing a King-authored amendment to defund the DACA program and subject DREAMers to deportation. And in late May of this year, the House passed another anti-immigrant amendment from King, who added insult to injury by referring to the DACA program as “Deferred Action for Criminal Aliens.”
As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) noted on CBS’s “Face the Nation” recently regarding the political implications of continuing on their present course, “If we keep playing this game that self-deportation is the only answer for the Republican Party, we will have destroyed our chances in 2016 and dealt a death blow to our party, because by 2050 the majority of the country is going to be African American, Hispanic and Asian.”
356 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 8 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes
Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice on Twitter @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice.
America’s Voice – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform