This Just in From Steve King : Immigration Reform will Turn America into a Violent Civilization
House Republicans have a clear strategy on immigration reform for the August recess: Lie low.
But Rep. Steve King didn’t get the memo.
The conservative firebrand from Iowa — who recently called immigrant children drug mules — is seizing a critical moment in the immigration debate and taking his views on the road to rallies like the one here in the backyard of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is helping to shape immigration policy in the House.
King hopes to pressure fellow Republicans into staring down any move to give undocumented immigrants legal status.
He began his nearly half-hour speech here arguing against immigration reform, claiming societies tend to become more violent as one moves farther south in Latin America.
“Now think what that is,” King said to the 60 or so attendees at the rally. “If you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you’re going to have more violence right? It’s like pouring hot water into cold water, does it raise the temperature or not?”
Republican leaders — eager not to further alienate Hispanic voters — argue they’ve done all they can to shut up King.
Republican leaders are reluctant to talk about King’s broader role in the immigration reform fight. Cantor’s office declined to comment specifically on the rally in his neighborhood Monday, instead pointing to the No. 2 House Republican’s recent Fox News interview in which he said the House’s approach to the issue would be a “lot more deliberative and smart” than the Senate’s.
The groups participating in Monday’s rally plan to hit several other states in the coming weeks to send a similar message. Though details are not yet finalized, the so-called Stop Amnesty Tour will also wind through Harrisburg, Pa.; Dallas; Toledo, Ohio; and South Carolina during the August recess. King hopes to attend those rallies, too. Other groups involved in the effort include Tea Party Patriots and Eagle Forum.
“Don’t go into the trap. If you do go into the trap, what you’re going to do is to turn your back to millions of Americans,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration and one of the leaders of Monday’s rally.
“Focus on putting these people back to work, not making them compete with more foreign workers.”
Meanwhile, immigration reform doesn’t appear to be a top priority for House Republican leaders, who spent the final days and weeks before the recess voting on more symbolic bills, such as repealing the health care law and targeting the Internal Revenue Service.