Congressman Steve King says he’s “glad and relieved” the governor of Arizona signed the law which establishes strict new rules for immigrants in Arizona. King, a Republican from Kiron, argues the situation in Arizona “exposes” the Obama administration and Democrats in congress.
“The Arizona law…sends a pretty sound statement to the federal government which is that the federal government is not upholding and enforcing current immigration law,” King says. “They are delaying because they want to provide amnesty.”
King opposed a 2008 effort that would have allowed illegal immigrants to pay a fine, learn English and then get in line for U.S. citizenship. Some Republicans have raised concerns about the Arizona law which calls on local authorities to question those they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe are in the country illegally.
Karl Rove, a key advisor to former President George W. Bush, has said there are “serious constitutional questions” about the Arizona law. Others say the new law, signed by a Republican governor and supported by Republicans like King, may push more Hispanics toward the Democratic Party.
“There may be a problem that Republicans could have with Hispanic voters and others because of this bill,” King says. “But the fact is it’s more likely because of the people down there who are trading in race, playing the race card, trying to drive division between people — the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world that are down there and misstating the facts in the bill.”
King says the Arizona law is no more aggressive than federal regulations, it’s just that federal officials aren’t enforcing those rules according to King. “I would submit that Arizona law’s new immigration law upholds the rule of law and you have to have the rule of law if you’re going to be a civilized nation,” King says.
“You have to have a border and defend it if you’re going to be a sovereign nation.” King says he will never support what he considers “amnesty” for people who have entered the U.S. illegally because merely paying a fine for the crime is a “pay to play” system that builds “contempt” for the rule of law.