Steve King Confronted by Undocumented Immigrants, Rand Paul Makes Like the Roadrunner…
While there are many problems with the Congress, one of the largest is that our representatives simply don’t listen especially when it involves a contentious issue. While at an Iowa fundraiser, Republicans Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky were approached by a young man and woman who introduced themselves as “Dreamers.” Paul, upon hearing this, stood from the table and left abruptly, seemingly pulled away by some of “his people,” which left King to face the kids alone.
The video is an amazing example of how politicians like King don’t care to let another person express him- or herself, choosing instead to steamroll over them to restate his position and, in this case, be insulting. After repeatedly asking activist Erika Andiola if she was a drug smuggler or if she speaks English, King proceeds to talk over her as she states her case. The man in the video, identified as Cesar Vargas, is in law school and tells King how desperately he wanted to join the military after 9/11 and fight for his county. King replied, “what do we need lawyers for who have disrespect for the constitution and the rule of law.”
Even though these two young adults, well-spoken and polite (but definitely angry), were brought into this country as children by their parents, King repeatedly told them that they did not “respect” the U.S. or its laws. He also repeatedly grabs Andiola’s hand or wrist to get her to stop talking. Andiola presented her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals identification card. DACA was an Obama Administration policy enacted to make life a little easier for immigrants who entered the country illegally with their parents. It does not provide a path to citizenship or even change their immigration status.
Presumably one of King’s aides, a bald man in an orange polo shirt, told the person filming Rep. King to stop. He asked if she was “press” and said something like: we don’t need cameras if they aren’t the press. He left the woman filming alone after she told him she was a constituent. After a few more minutes, Andiola left, patting the Congressman on the shoulder as she did.
There’s no denying how humorous it was when Sen. Paul left the table so fast there should have been a puff of smoke left in his wake. However, what should be the story here is how little Rep. King cares about the perspectives and experiences of the people he is so desperate to remove from this country. While there really is now way for him to have “won” this encounter, had he just smiled and let her speak and not challenged her, no one would be writing about it today.