Rep. Steve King Thinks Dreamers Are Just Making Up Stories of How They Came to the US

Dec 11, 2016
12:29 PM

There is pure xenophobia and then there is Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican who continues to lambast Dreamers just case. Here is what he had to say last week on CNN. This is the shorter video:

Here is the FULL interview:

Let’s also take it to the official CNN transcript:

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Iowa Republican Representative Steve King. Good morning, congressman.

REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA: Good morning, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: So let’s talk about some of these new cabinet picks. We’ll get to Scott Pruitt, but let’s start with General John Kelly. He’s been tapped for DHS. How do you think General Kelly will change the Department of Homeland Security?

KING: Well, we know about General John Kelly’s military experience and his record there and being a decorated veteran of combat over in Iraq in particular. In fact, that’s where I first met him was when Ramadi was shot to shambles during the surge era. We took a ride around there, even a minaret was shot in half and he pointed to that and said we were taking fire from that minaret. My son took that down with a 20 milimeter cannon. That’s my first impression of John Kelly.


KING: I’ve met him several times since then, and I know that he will take command of DHS. And in the department of homeland security and each agency that’s there there’s a morale problem. It’s a different morale problem in each one. And I think if you serve under John Kelly your morale is going to be good. It would probably be a direct order, shape up your morale. And so he understands command. He understands how to delegate. And I think that he will bring law and order. And what I’m hoping for with this —


KING: — is that the restoration of the rule of law, especially with regard to immigration, that is the main principle that needs to be driven by the secretary of homeland security.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let’s talk about that. Will he build a wall?

KING: If his order from the president is to build a wall, John Kelly will build a wall. And I’ve got a design out there and I hope it’s considered. There are other good designs out there. But he will get it done. He’s a doer. I don’t have any doubt about that. President- elect Trump has said thousands of times, I will build a wall. He didn’t just say he’ll build a wall. I’ll build a great wall and it will be a beautiful wall, and I’ll make the Mexicans pay for it. I don’t know that John Kelly will figure out how to make the Mexicans pay for it, but we’ll do all the rest.

CAMEROTA: Because president-elect Trump said it so many times, it was confusing yesterday when Congressman Dennis Ross, Republican, one of your come eagles said this is “Bloomberg.” Let me read it for you. “The wall is a term to help understand it, to describe it. It could be a fence. It could be an open surveillance to prevent people from crossing. It does not mean an actual wall.” Congressman, is the wall an actual wall? KING: I would say to my friend Dennis that’s, you know, that’s newsspeak. When you say a wall’s not a wall, then what is anything, anything?

CAMEROTA: I don’t know.

KING: When you say a wall, you mean a wall. You want to build a fence, you say fence. You don’t use it as a euphemism for a virtual, say surveillance from hot air balloons that are floating over the border which some people have advocated. And I’ll say this, the cheapest and most effective thing we can do is build a concrete wall, a precast, structural concrete wall, I know that there’s equipment out there that could — could form and implement in place a trench, a foundation for a wall. You could drop the slots in. Our little company could build a mile a day of that.

CAMEROTA: Sure. So you’re saying your belief today as you stand here is that there will be an actual, literal wall, built along our southern border?

KING: Made out of concrete. And I’m calling upon president-elect Trump to not just settle for a wall. Let’s build a fence, then a wall, then a fence, so we create two no man’s lands, one on either side of the wall. That way when we pick people up there they don’t really have an excuse. They weren’t out there picking mushrooms. They were illegally in the United States. It will simplify the adjudication and will expedite the voluntary return, and it will allow our border patrol officers to patrol both sides of that wall. And we can put surveillance devices on top of the wall, vibration detectors and other devices.

CAMEROTA: OK, that’s a super-duper wall. That’s a — that’s a fence- wall-fence you’re talking about. So let me get your clarification on something else about immigration. As you know, Mr. Trump during the campaign said a couple of different things about the levels of deportation, who would be deported. As you understand it today, congressman, will the so-called DREAMers, the people who were brought here as minors, will they’ll be deported or will he find a way to allow them to become citizens and stay in the U.S.?

KING: Maybe there’s a place in between on that, too. But I’ll try to hit each spot. First if I listen to a campaign promises, I would expect that on the first day he would cancel all of the DACA documents out there that President Obama unconstitutionally issued. And that would end it for them. And then as they’re encountered by law enforcement, local law enforcement often, then they would be put through the process. That’s what we would expect from his campaign promises.

CAMEROTA: OK, let me stoop you right there because I want to read to you what president-elect Donald Trump said in an interview to “Time” magazine yesterday, because it’s different than what you’re describing. He said “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. They were brought here at a very young age. They’ve worked here. They’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs, and they’re in never- never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.” That sounds like he is not going to cancel DACA, the executive order of President Obama. That sounds like he is sympathetic to their cause.

KING: I was hoping he was going to say we’re going to do something that makes Steve King happy, but I didn’t hear that.

CAMEROTA: Yes, strangely.

KING: So when you look at this, I think that there’s been such a hard push on this. The reason they’re called DREAMers is because that’s the most sympathetic term that could be applied to —

CAMEROTA: And it sounds like Mr. Trump agrees with that. I mean he’s talking about the merits of keeping them here.

KING: Well, in — among all of these DREAMers, there are some awfully bad people. And these dreamers go on to the age of 37 or 38 or maybe older.


KING: And that’s if they tell the truth.

CAMEROTA: But what’s your example that there’s awfully bad DREAMers here.

KING: I’m sorry?

CAMEROTA: Give me an example of there being terrible DREAMers.

KING: I’ll just say this, that I’ve spent a fair amount of time down at the border. I’ve been down there and helped arrest people that are smuggling drugs in. I have watched as these packs of marijuana are on the backs of young men that are walking across the border. They’re hauling an average of about 65 pounds, some of them every day they take another load.

CAMEROTA: OK, so you think that those — you think those drug traffickers are what are referred to as the DREAMers who were brought here against their will as minors and now go to school here and have jobs?

KING: Wait, wait, wait. This definition about against their will, that’s a made up term. Did any of those little kids say I didn’t want to come here? Or did any of them came in the day before they turned 18 they qualified, too —


KING: Did they say I was brought here against my will? Some of them were walking across the border on their own, lots of them, and we’ll see them coming across every day at McCallum, Texas. They’re still pouring across the border. They know what they’re doing. It’s not against their will. And they came here to live in the shadows. So if we enforce the law and they live in the shadows that’s what they came here to do.

CAMEROTA: What about those that are under, let’s pick an arbitrary number, under 10 years old. Did they come of their own free will?

KING: Let’s ask their parents. And will those children point to their parents and tell us you really need to enforce the law against my parents? Because they know what they were doing when they caused me to break the law. I don’t think we’ve thought through this very well. But there’s a reason why in the president’s DACA programs he didn’t grant his unconstitutional executive amnesty to the parents of dreamers. He would like to. But they’re unspoken to out there. They’re the facilitators. If the kids are innocent, the parents are guilty.


KING: We have to look at the parents.

CAMEROTA: OK. Just so I understand your position on this, even if it differs from president-elect Trump, you’re saying that if a child was brought here as an infant, a two-year-old, a seven-year-old, a 10- year-old, regardless of if they’re in college, regardless of if they have made something good with their life and if they’re working here, they have to go.

KING: That is the law. And if he’s going to change that, he needs to come to Congress and ask us to change the law.

But I don’t think you get that ask unless you first enforce the law, and demonstrate you secured the border. And still whatever this does to our hearts, and it tugs on mine, too, but the most important thing is to restore the respect for the rule of law.


KING: And we failed to do that if we reward people for breaking it. And so in the end, what was all this about? I worked 30 years to try to restore respect for the rule of law because of Ronald Reagan’s amnesty in 1986. And I don’t want to let this go because somebody’s heart got a little softer than it was before the election.

CAMEROTA: OK. Congressman Steve King, we appreciate your candor and we will see how this all plays out in Congress in the next month. Thanks so much.

KING: Thank you.