Pro-immigration forces’ worst nightmare about to come true

 If you’re among that Jewish faction – formerly a majority, now we’re not so sure – that favors fairly liberal immigration policies and sees comprehensive immigration reform including a path to citizenship for some here illegally as a political priority, your worst nightmare is about to come true.

As the Daily Beast reports today, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), whose positions on illegal immigration earned him the wrath of the Anti-Defamation League,  will probably become the top House player on the immigration issue when the Republicans take over in January.

The article cites just a few King controversies. Example: “In 2006, he appeared in the House carrying a miniature replica of a border fence—it looked like King’s entry in the science fair. Running along the top of King’s mini-fence was a wire he said would be filled with electrical current. ‘We do that with livestock all the time,’ King explained.”

Here’s what the ADL had to say about King in a report entitled Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream:

Representing Iowa in the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Steve King* (R-IA) has characterized immigrants – both legal and undocumented – as criminals and disease-carriers. He has spoken alongside leaders of border vigilante groups and advocated a border “wall” topped with electrified wire to stop what he has called a “slow motion Holocaust” of undocumented immigration into the United States. King addressed the House of Representatives and asserted that undocumented immigration is “a slow-rolling, slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States.” He suggested that because undocumented immigrants comprise 28% of the prison population, “28 percent of the murders, 28 percent of the rapes, 28 percent of the violence and the assaults and battery, first- and second-degree murder and also manslaughter attacks are committed by criminal aliens.

I’m guessing this change isn’t going to go down well with groups like the American Jewish Committee and HIAS, either. Both argue for compassionate treatment of all immigrants, legal and illegal, and have made comprehensive immigration reform a priority in recent years.

As they say, it ain’t gonna happen. Not in any event with the Republicans riding the Tea Party tidal wave to control of the House, especially not with King as chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Citizenship, Refugees, Immigration, and Border Security. 

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.