Republican Congressman Steve King has a message for the undocumented Latinos hoping for an immigration reform bill this summer: not today, not tomorrow and hey how does never sound?
To illustrate why immigration reform is contrary to the nation’s interests King, a Tea Party favorite, told the press this week that he believed President Obama would not be president if it weren't for the 1986 amnesty bill that Ronald Reagan signed into law.
King was apparently suggested that Latino immigrants who benefited from Reagan’s 1986 Act mostly voted for Obama in the last election. By implication he appeared to be suggesting that by letting more undocumented become legal under a new bill, the Tea Party voting demographic would be further eclipsed.
King is a relentless GOP critic of all efforts to pass an immigration reform bill, and has stated publicly that Republicans are overreacting to the 2012 election, which party elder see as evidence the GOP needs to get behind a reform bill.
‘Ronald Reagan's signature on the '86 amnesty act brought about Barack Obama's election,’ King told the House floor. ‘It's clear to anybody that can do any kind of statistical analysis that Barack Obama wouldn't be President of the United States without Ronald Reagan's 1986 amnesty act.’
According to The Hill, King said the reform being being worked on in both the House and Senate would provide amnesty for millions more illegal immigrants, a majority of whom would likely vote Democratic. ‘And if that's the case, then how do the people on my side of the aisle think they're going to fix that problem?’ King asked. He did not suggest the answer was to craft a more moderate political platform. Apparently the best answer was to bar their entrance, King inferred.
‘If it was created by amnesty, you create a bigger problem by amnesty,’ he said.
‘When the President of the United States came to the Republican Conference … he said to us, you must pass comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans, or you will never win another national election. I'm trying to help you,’ King said. ‘He's not trying to help Republicans. We have some people who will take the bait on that. 'It will split this party in half. It will pit Republicans against Republicans. The Democrats know that. That is a clear tactic in politics, to divide the other party down an issue if you can.'
CNN reported that 71 percent of Latinos voted for the president and that they represented 10 percent of the overall electorate for the first time in history.