Republican Congressman Steve King says he supports the Obama Administration’s move to shift more agents to the nation’s southern border to respond to a drug war that’s raging just across the border in Mexico. King, though, worries the administration may divert resources from other areas of immigration enforcement.
"Is our focus going to be going away from worksite enforcement and towards enforcing toward guns and money going into Mexico as opposed to illegal people and illegal drugs coming north from Mexico?" King asks. "I think that’s where we need to pay our attention."
If the Obama Administration proposes an assault weapons ban, arguing it will stem the tide of weapons winding up in the armies of Mexican drug lords, King will oppose it. "I think we have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. You can’t define an assault weapon without defining what it looks like rather than how it functions," King says.
"It’s been clear the American people have decided they believe this attack on so-called assault weapons was something that also was an assault on the second amendment rights of the American people." Earlier this week, the director of the Homeland Security Department announced the U.S. is committing $700-million to enhanced border activities. Beefed up surveillance is part of the plan as well as the additional border patrol agents being deployed.
King says he always supports the use of federal resources to "enforce the rule of law." On Thursday, King sat in on a "classified" security briefing from Homeland Security and other federal agencies involved in the effort. King cannot disclose details of that classified briefing, but King suggests the situation in Mexico is critical.
"There clearly is a risk that the government forces could break down in this war against the Mexican drug cartels. That’s legitimate," King says. "But I to think also that it provides cover for the administration to seek to pass an assault weapons ban." King is the top-ranking Republican on a House subcommittee which focuses on immigration issued. He met privately with Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano last week.
In other news this week, officials in the District of Columbia say a bookkeeping error gave Congressman King a tax credit on the condo he owns in Washington, D.C. that is reserved for D.C. residents. King plans to pay the additional property taxes that were deducted from his bill because records showed he was to receive a homestead tax credit.