Republican Congressman Steve King was confronted last night during his campaign fundraiser in Okoboji by an undocumented immigrant. Erika Andiola told King she was a recent Arizona State University graduate who was brought into the country by her mother when she was 11.
“We have a process to apply for asylum,” King told Andiola. “She could have gone to the United States Embassy in Mexico City.”
Andiola replied: “She applied. She got denied.”
King asked: “And so, you decided it was O.K. to violate the law?”
An iPhone video of the exchange was posted on youtube last night by the DREAM Act Coalition.
“I am here to realize why you’re fighting so much against DREAMers,” she said.
King is a critic of the president’s 2012 decision to suspend the deportations of young adults — the so-called DREAMers — who were illegally brought into the country by their parents.
“This county should not be a country that’s run by one king — Barack Obama — deciding what the laws should be,” King told Andiola. “The constitution is the supreme law of the land and the laws are written by the congress, not by the president.”
Andiola twice held out the work permit card she’s been given by the government and told King to rip it up.
King said he wouldn’t give Andiola that kind of a “video op.”
“I am really sorry that you come from a lawless country. I hope that you can have a happy life,” King said. “But please, do not erode the rule of law in this country.”
Andiola again referred to her card: “If you want to rip into it, let me know.”
A man standing nearby began shouting: “Go home,” as the conversation concluded.
King had been eating when Andiola approached him and King stood up and faced her soon after Andiola started talking. King told reporters later that he decided to stay and engage rather than walk away from Andiola, who was accompanied by a Harvard Law graduate who has become an activist for undocumented immigrants.