From President Obama to Congress, Washington D.C. is currently enjoying summer recess, but that hasn’t stopped the political debate surrounding hot button issues like immigration from raging on. Earlier this month, during a campaign event for his reelection effort, two so-called ‘Dreamers’ confronted conservative Congressman Steve King (R-IA) over his position on immigration.
Below is a video of the incident, which was captured by Matt Hildreth of the pro-immigration reform group America's Voice:
According to The Hill, the two individuals in the video are Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas. Both Andiola and Vargas were brought the United States as children and do not have permanent legal status.
On radio this morning, King joined Glenn to discuss the incident and the state of the immigration debate.
As King explained, he noticed the video camera Andiola and Vargas had in tow almost immediately, and he didn’t want to give them the sound bite they desired.
“At about the second sentence, I realized that there's a camera there that was brought in… They were setting up a video. And so I didn't want to give [them] that video,” King explained. “I didn't want to give [them] two or three or four sentences and have [them] walk away and have them say that I was speechless, for example. So I began to question her in the middle of that, and… she wouldn't respond at all what I said to her or the questions I asked her.”
At this point, we have heard President Obama threaten to act unilaterally on immigration reform. King was adamant he is doing everything in his power to ensure that does not happen.
“Holding this president back for the duration of his term so that he doesn't create a constitutional crisis with an executive edict that simply blows the immigration law out of the federal statute and violates the Constitution is going to be a difficult task,” King said. “We cannot unilaterally disarm. We can't take the position that we're not going to stand up to the President with all the constitutional tools that we have. I, like others, are reluctant to even discuss some of them. But we cannot take that off table.”
With than in mind, if Obama is to attempt to change any part of immigration law in the next several weeks, King believes it would be wise to call a special session of Congress to combat the overreach.
“I want to uphold the Constitution… Here's a sequence of things I would suggest, if the President… went out and did a press conference and said, ‘It's my intention to wipe out large or maybe all components of immigration law,’ which he is threatening to do to the tune of five to six to maybe eight or nine million people or more,” King explained. “If he did that, then I would say, immediately, we should call a special session of Congress. Fly everybody back from their August break.”
Ultimately, King is optimistic about the House of Representative’s ability to thwart a presidential power grab because of what he has heard from his peers in recent weeks.
“We had a very intense debate inside our conference a week ago on Thursday, and it went on for two hours,” King said. “I heard people that you generally see on more to the left side of the Republican party step up and demand that we pass legislation that would amend the 2008 law, shut off the president's DACA language and the Morton memos. They're getting that from their constituents, or they would have been vocal about this before. “
“Let Democrats and Republicans debate this as long as they will stay there and bring about some solution to reign in this president,” he concluded. “That would help. Then it would focus the American people on the lawlessness that we have coming out of the White House today.”