“[President Donald Trump] has a mandate to build a wall [and] pass domestic [immigration] enforcement legislation,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Tuesday.
King advised Trump to work toward keeping his immigration- and border-related campaign promises during an interview with SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight.
King’s comments came in light of a Tuesday article at Politico regarding White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s same-day meeting with “nearly a dozen senators” to negotiate “legal protections” for illegal immigrants targeted by Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive policy.
Offering presidential pre-approval of legislative amnesty for illegal immigrants — via proposed bills to codify DACA into law — in exchange for congressional legislative directives toward southern border security and internal immigration enforcement amounted to self-sabotage on Trump’s part, said King.
“Now the president has essentially negotiated against himself,” said King. “He has a mandate to build a wall. He has a mandate to pass domestic enforcement legislation and enforcement for immigration at the border and internally in this domestic scene. But instead, he’s saying, ‘Give me the enforcement and I’ll give you the DACA.'”
Trump has an “excellent chance to keep every single campaign promise,” said King, advising the president that doing so would yield “a tremendous legacy.”
Rejecting amnesty for illegal immigrants, said King, would help restore the rule of law in America: “If he will follow through and put an end to DACA, then he’s in a place to be the first presidential candidate in — who knows, our lifetime — to lay out promises on a campaign trail and have a chance to keep them all, and that would be a tremendous legacy. That, and restoring the rule of law are far more important and far more valuable to America than keeping people here who are here illegally.”
Lawlessness begets more lawlessness, warned King: “There are people who simply can’t step back and look at the implications of what they’re advocating for, here; but it’s this: if you reward law-breakers, you get more law-breakers.”
DACA’s passage would inevitably lead to the extension of citizenship to its targets, said King: “If the DACA recipients are granted a legal status, you can’t say to them, ‘You’re never gonna get to be citizens and vote.’ They will. It’s just the next card that’ll be played. It’ll be the next demand. And meanwhile, the next most sympathetic group gets brought forward by Dick Durbin and others.”
Congressional Democratic leadership has repeatedly called for a “pathway to citizenship” for foreigners illegally in America to whom they intend to extend amnesty.
Those who illegally entered and live in America, said King, made a choice to “live in the shadows”: “I want to end the DACA program. I don’t want to revive it for any reason. I want to say to them, “You came here to live in the shadows. If that’s your objective, and as long as you’re in the shadows, we’re not going to be able to find you with law enforcement, so stay in the shadows. But if we encounter you with law enforcement, we have to do what the law calls for, and that is, you need to go back home.”
King rejected narratives framing DACA’s targets as primarily children: “They’re really not kids, they’re up to age 36, now. Many, many of them came in on their own knowing what they were doing, they just tell you otherwise.”
Breitbart News Tonight airs on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 on weeknights from 9 p.m to midnight Eastern (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.