Congressman Steve King says U.S. military troops should be deployed to patrol America’s borders to prevent illegal immigration. “We have to seal our border,” King says. He says there are a number of ways to do the job. King, a Republican from Kiron, recently visited the U.S. border with Mexico and flew air patrols to observe what’s being done now. He says the recent volunteer effort to patrol the border proves illegals can be kept out more effectively than what’s being done now. King has pushed a proposal in Congress that would send more American soldiers to the borders. “That’s great terrain to train to go to Iraq,” King says. “You need to keep an Army busy.” He says National Guard members are there, wearing bullet-proof vests and helmets, training today and “we could just put more there.” King is also drafting legislation that would dramatically increase the financial penalties for U.S. businesses that employ illegal immigrants. He estimates the penalty he envisions, which would be tied to payroll, would be at least 50 percent of the salary paid to an illegal immigrant. King, though, says it will be difficult to get immigration reform past President Bush. “The president doesn’t have the heart to reform immigration law,” King says. King plans to “highlight” the costs of illegal immigration. For example, King says thousands of Americans are murdered or raped every year by illegal immigrants and he’s asked for the statistics. He says he’ll release the data as soon as he receives it. King says immigration will be a major issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. King calls immigration the “big sleeping issue” that Iowans and Americans want a national debate on, but that presidential candidates refuse to confront. King made his comments during taping of the Iowa Public Television program “Iowa Press” which airs this evening.
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