Rep. Steve King is the most outspoken member of Congress who opposes immigration, using the House floor and social media to attack immigrants who he repeatedly claims are a threat to Western civilization. King’s views have become so extreme that his rhetoric is indistinguishable from that of white nationalists. King, who toasted on Twitter to reports of the first DACA recipient being deported under the Trump Administration, was stripped of his committee assignments in January 2019, following an interview with The New York Times in which he stated: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
- Congressman Steve King of Iowa is one of the most vocal proponents of deporting undocumented immigrants in the House of Representatives.
- For years, King has espoused extreme and false far-right beliefs about immigrants and minorities, has associated with Nazi-founded European political parties like the Austrian Freedom Party, and has worked to derail immigration reform bills with groups founded and funded by eugenics proponent John Tanton.
- Rep. King’s rhetoric has become increasingly explicit in recent years, and have even drawn criticism from individuals within his own party.
- According to the Des Moines Register, King stated that “there’s nothing cruel” about the Trump Administration’s family separation policy and the detention conditions of children separated from their families.
- Following King’s defense of white nationalism and white supremacy in January 2019, the Iowa Congressman was stripped of his committee assignments and denounced by many, including the National Review, which called on conservatives to “Dump Steve King.”
- This was not the first time King espoused racist beliefs; in fact, this trend has continued for a number of years.
- In December 2017, King exclaimed to Breitbart News’ Whatever It Takes radio host Curt Schilling that there is “a pejoraty [sic] against white people in America. It’s an anti-white, anti-Western civilization culture that they are fostering.”
- In July 2016, King posed the following question to MSNBC host Chris Hayes: “Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization… than white people?”
- In December 2017, King celebrated President Trump’s inauguration with then-Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and the Austrian Freedom Party, which was founded by Nazis in 1956.
- In a 2017 tweet, King praised the nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders and echoed remarks the Iowa Congressman had made to MSNBC host Chris Hayes in 2016: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
- Following backlash surrounding these comments King doubled down defending his tweet on Breitbart radio: “We’re watching as Western civilization is shrinking in the face of the massive, epic migration that is pouring into Europe. That’s the core of that tweet. They’re importing a different culture, a different civilization — and that culture and civilization, the imported one, rejects the host culture. And so they are supplanting Western civilization with Middle Eastern civilization and I say, and Geert Wilders says, Western civilization is a superior civilization — it is the first world.”
- The Republican Congressman has recommended and praised the racist “The Camp of the Saints” novel, which Tanton republished through The Social Contract Press.
- King has characterized Dreamers as drug runners: “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” Later on in the interview, King claimed that undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age were “undermining our culture and civilization.”
- King openly associates with the anti-immigrant lobby, including his frequent attendance at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event.
- In 2013, as Congress was considering a bipartisan immigration compromise, King appeared at a rally with NumbersUSA executive director Roy Beck. Also in 2013, he spoke alongside Sen. Cruz, Sen. Sessions and Rep. Brooks at a rally organized by an anti-immigrant front group. King also spoke at a CIS event in 2011 and in 2013 he spoke alongside Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA.
- King was a recipient of funding from Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in almost every election from 2002 through 2018.
- In addition to espousing racist beliefs and making other racist remarks about immigrants and minorities, King has propped up his ideology with policy proposals that include harsh interior enforcement measures, dismantling birthright citizenship, imposing e-bonds, toughening penalties for unauthorized reentry, withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities,” building a wall along the Southern border, and ending DACA and deporting Dreamers.
- King has met with President Trump to discuss immigration topics including King’s e-bonding bill – HR 6089. Additionally, in 2017, King met with then-DHS Secretary John Kelly to consider border security measures showcasing a model for a border wall. In the past, King has suggested electrifying parts of the wall along the Southern border.
- From the announcement of the program in 2012, King has led the charge against DACA in the House.
- In addition to his repeated mischaracterization of the majority of Dreamers as criminals, the Iowa Congressman has introduced a number of amendments to must-pass bills such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the DHS Appropriations bills that would have made life exponentially more difficult for DACA recipients:
- In June 2013, King introduced an amendment to the DHS Appropriations Act that would have prohibited the use of funds to process DACA applications.
- In June 2016, King attempted to attach two amendments to the NDAA, both of which were designed to prohibit Dreamers from serving in the military. These were ultimately rejected, and on the one which was given a vote, 33 Republicans voted against it.
- In the summer of 2014, he voted with Reps. Blackburn and Barletta to pass a bill that would have halted DACA.
- In 2018, King teamed up with Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and five other Members of Congress, including Representatives Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Massie and Ralph Norman, to file an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas for its lawsuit seeking to eliminate DACA. IRLI filed the brief on behalf of the Congressmen.
- In February 2019, on behalf of King and Rep. Gosar, IRLI filed an additional brief.
- In 2018, ProEnglish held a legislative briefing with King to promote the English Language Unity Act.