Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) just did it again. The conservative lawmaker has a history of making controversial statements about immigrants and culture. He said on Wednesday that the president’s decision to rescind DACA would give undocumented immigrants a choice to either “live in the shadows” or face deportation.
“They came here to live in the shadows, and we’re not denying them that opportunity to live in the shadows,” King told NBC News. The answer came in response to a question about where immigrants should go after their permission to live here under DACA expires. King was pressed to elaborate on his answer, and he said, “They should make up their own mind, but they also need to be exposed to the enforcement of the law.”
“If they’re encountered by law enforcement officials, the law requires that they’d be placed in removal proceedings,” King added. “That’s the law and if you’re going to waive the application of the law, to groups of people, it is amnesty and amnesty in America, with regard to immigration, is a reward for immigration lawbreakers and is a pardon for immigration lawbreakers coupled with their reward of the objective of their crime.”
The lawmaker’s comments came one day after the Justice Department announced that it was ending DACA, the Obama-era program that allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country. Trump’s Justice Department said that it would give Congress a six-month window to come up with legislation that might save the program.
Although both parties have criticized Trump for his decision, he told reporters on Wednesday that he had “no second thoughts.”
King went further in his comments saying that the six-month window is likely to “divide” the GOP “in a sharp and a hard way,” and that the only way to avoid that split would be to let DACA end.
King faced harsh criticism about his remarks on immigration, even from those within his party. In March he retweeted praise for a far-right politician from Europe, saying that he understood “that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” When he was asked about the statement the next day, he said he “meant exactly what I said.”
“You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values and in doing so, then you can grow your population, and you can strengthen your culture, you can strengthen your way of life,” King said.
And in a panel discussion on MSNBC last July, King said that white people had contributed more to civilization than other “subgroups.” He later clarified that he meant “Western civilization.”
What do you think about King’s latest remarks about immigrants “living in the shadows?” You can watch the clip below and we would like to see your comments.
Credit: NBC News