Steve King: It’s Not Perfect, But Trump Immigration Document ‘Bold,’ Strong,’ ‘Positive’

Representative Steve King (R-IA) argued that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s position paper on immigration is “bold,” “strong,” and “positive,” although he added, “I’d like to plug a couple more things in there” on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day.”

King said, “Well, when I read through that document, in the end, I thought it’s a very, very positive document. It’s bold. It’s strong. It’s broad. It covers most of the things that you’d want to cover. I’d like to plug a couple more things in there.”

He continued, “But with regard to birthright citizenship, for example, it is — has constitutional underpinnings, yes, but the way you start that is, as you pass the legislation that puts an end to birthright citizenship, I happen to be the author of that legislation. And then it will be litigated, there isn’t any doubt about it, but there’s a clause in there that says, ‘and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ ‘All persons born [or naturalized] in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ are American citizens, and — or are United States citizens, to be more technically correct. So, we have to start the legislation, I think it’s constitutionally sound to pass the legislation, and end birthright citizenship. There aren’t very many countries in the world that have that policy. But I was curious, for some time, about how Donald Trump would get Mexico to pay for the wall. As you know, I’ve advocated for a long time for a fence — a wall and a fence on the southern border. I’m optimistic about this. I think the tactics that he uses are legitimate, and he’ll use more leverage in that. … I think that he can get to that place, but whether they do or whether they don’t pay for the wall, as he says in his document, the cost of that wall pales in comparison to the cost of not building it.”

King was then asked why he isn’t pushing for criminal sanctions for employers who hire illegal immigrants. He answered, “I’m supportive of doing those things. The reason we haven’t pushed this harder in the last six and a half years is because, there’s no way that one can imagine that this administration is going to enforce any of that. I mean, they’ve gone to court to block local jurisdictions from even mirroring federal immigration law, let alone…how they’re accepting sanctuary cities, which I’m grateful that Donald Trump has in his document, he’s going to end that.” And “if you’re going to punish and fine employers, you have to have a Justice Department and an Obama [administration] — a presidential administration that’ll follow through. I would do that. But I think I have a better idea, and I was hopeful that it would be in this document. There’s room for it within the language that’s there, it’s not specified, it’s called the New IDEA Act. And that’s a piece of legislation that I offered, several cycles ago, that does this. It brings the IRS into play, and it tell — and it says this, ‘If you’re an employer, and you use E-Verify, you get safe harbor for those that you hire. But, you cannot be left the wages and benefits paid to illegals under this legislation.’ And so, the IRS would go through, under a normal audit of a business, and they would run the Social Security numbers of the employees through. If E-Verify kicks them out, and says, ‘Sorry, they can’t work in the United States,’ then the employer would lose his business deduction. So, your $10 an hour illegal, after there’s interest, penalty, and taxes charged on that, becomes a $16 an hour illegal. And we would — and there’s a six year statute of limitations on it. So, we would clean up this workforce, and we’d do so with the IRS. And we require the IRS to cooperate with the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security. I know that’s within the — I’ll say within the list of things that Donald Trump would be looking at to support, but I don’t — but it’s not in the document. So, that’s what I would do. I think it’s actually — it enhances our revenue stream. It’s a — it would score out a plus by billions of dollars, and clean up our workforce.”

King concluded, “There’s something he’s tapped into here, and we — nobody knows how long this’ll last. We’ve never seen anything like this before, but he has tapped into the discontent in America, the malaise within America, the people who are fed up. They’re fed up with political correctness, they’re fed up with the disrespect for the rule of law, they’re fed up with the dilution of Americanism, and they want cultural continuity, they want English as the official language, they want free enterprise to be something we can proud of again, and they want to be done with an administration that’s been punishing big business. It’s important for all business to be profitable. That’s the engine that drives the freedom that we have. And there’s a robust America there, that needs to be tapped into. And that’s why I think he’s got the support he has, and why that helicopter landed a little ways away from me the other day.”

(h/t The Right Scoop)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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