Undocumented Immigrants, DREAMers Confront House Rep. Steve King on DACA Opposition [Video]
Two DREAMers confronted Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, at a fundraising event to discuss his opposition to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which exempted up to 500,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children from deportation.
The two DREAMers were DREAM Action Coalition's Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas. The DREAMers approached Rep. King and Rep. Rand Paul, R-Ky, outside a restaurant. After introducing themselves to King and Paul, Andiola asked a question. Andiola identified herself as a DREAMer originally from Mexico, raised in the U.S. and graduated from Arizona State University.
At this point, Paul left the scene.
"I know you want to get rid of DACA, so I want to give you the opportunity 'cause you really want to get rid of it, just rip mine," said Andiola to King as she gave him her identification card. "You can go ahead and do that."
"You take my DACA, you're going to take really, everything that I have accomplished," added Andiola, as she continued to ask why King is against DACA.
"You're very good at English," said King, as he grabs Andiola's hand. "You know what I'm saying."
"I was raised in the United States," Andiola replied.
"Right, so you can understand the English language," King continued.
King said Andiola's statements are untrue, as he has been referring to drug smugglers in regards to his case against DACA, "I spoke of drug smugglers. Now, you're not going to tell me you're not one of them, are you?" asked King.
"Do I look like a drug smuggler to you?" Andiola responded.
"You can tell me," said King.
"I am not a drug smuggler. Of course not," replied Andiola.
Although Andiola spoke in English for the entire conversation, King repeatedly asked if she understood English. King also said President Barack Obama does not have the constitutional right to approve measures such as DACA, which he did in 2012.
"The president has violated the Constitution, he's eroded the rule of law. He's brought this out, and there's many people that are suffering because of this," said King. "The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and the laws are written by the Congress not by the president."
King added that he does not want to build a country for people who have disrespect for the law.
"We don't have disrespect for the law," said Andiola.
Andiola gave back her DACA identification card to King, but he said he was focused not on "individual policy" but "national policy for everyone." The Iowa representative stated the two DREAMers and their parents have violated the law for being in the country illegally.
After seven minutes of dialogue, Andiola and Vargas said goodbye to King.
As Latin Post reported, Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would end DACA. House Republicans, including King, voted to pass the bill. The legislation stated that "no agency or instrumentality of the Federal government" should issue "guidance, memorandums, regulations, policies, or other similar instruments" to expand the number of undocumented immigrants eligible for DACA.
What is the first thing that @SteveKingIA asked after I talked to him for about 2 minutes... "Do you speak English?" Ummmmm....
— Erika Andiola (@ErikaAndiola) August 5, 2014
Oh, and did I mention @SenRandPaul ran away from the table when I started talking to @SteveKingIA and mentioned I was a Dremer? #NoCourage — Erika Andiola (@ErikaAndiola) August 5, 2014
In a follow up, Andiola and Vargas spoke about their conversation with King.
"[King] really showed his ignorance and his hatred towards us," said Andiola.
"The simple message is if undocumented immigrants can fight and defend DACA, the president should have the courage to expand DACA for millions of families that who can be together forever, tomorrow," said Vargas, adding that the confrontation with King was an example that they are not afraid to talk to lawmakers from Republican and Democratic Parties to ensure safety for their families.
Neither King's nor Paul's offices have commented on the confrontation.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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