Rep. Steve King: Why Pass Border Security Bill When Obama Will Ignore It?

By Susan Jones | July 15, 2013 | 7:35 AM EDT

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) (AP Photo)

( - Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an opponent of immigration reform, says the House shouldn't bring up a bill that deals solely with border security, never mind one that includes amnesty.

"First, it's a mistake for Republicans to believe the election was about immigration," King told "Fox News Sunday." "I don't remember a debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on immigration."

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And even if the House does pass a law dealing only with border enforcement, what's the point, King asked, when Obama only enforces the laws as he sees fit:

"There's nothing we can force the president to enforce a law he doesn't like. He has proven it over and over again."

King pointed to the Obama administration's unilateral decision to selectively enforce existing immigration laws.

Under a policy dubbed "prosecutorial discretion," the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency directed federal immigration officials to take up certain immigration cases and ignore others.

Specifically, DHS and ICE said in 2011 that prosecutors in immigration cases should deport only those illegal aliens convicted of serious crimes, not people who broke the law simply by entering the country; and federal immigration agents were directed in 2012 to avoid deporting younger illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as children and meet certain other criteria.

"The president is already refusing to enforce existing immigration laws," King said on Sunday. "He will not enforce the laws that we might pass." King said Obama has "proven that he's violated his own oath of office," as set out in Article II, Section III of the Constitution, to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.

"This is not a legislative branch problem -- not a legislative branch problem. We can't fix with laws the things that president refuses to do."

King noted that the Republican-led House, in June, passed his amendment that would bar the Homeland Security Department from engaging in "prosecutorial discretion." The amendment, attached to the DHS fiscal 2014 appropriations bill, defunding the "backdoor amnesty" policies issued by DHS and ICE in 2011 and 2012.

King told "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats are pressing immigration reform for political reasons: "This is a big boon for Democrats," he said.

"Whether Republicans are willing to go along with this or not, if we pass something, they're still going to get the credit for it in the White House. The president will sign a bill. They're going to continue to use this for political reasons. That's at the base of this. And some Republicans have been into this thinking we have to take it off the table by passing amnesty."

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also has warned that if President Obama can "selectively enforce a provision under Obamacare" (delaying enforcement of the employer mandate)
"what's to say he can't selectively enforce or not enforce a provision on border control and the immigration?"