(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said immigration reform being considered in the Senate “destroys the rule of law” by granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
“It destroys the rule of law,” King said at a Tuesday press conference outside Capitol Hill. “And the rule of law is an essential pillar of American exceptionalism, many people come here because we have equal justice under the law.”
“If we reward people who break the law, they’re unlikely to raise their children to respect it,” he said. “The rule of law, at least with regard to immigration, would be destroyed.”
“And the promise that the law would be enforced from this point forward? I don’t know how we can listen to that with a straight face,” King said.
The “Gang of Eight” bill, brought forth by a bipartisan group of Senators, including Florida Republican Marco Rubio, is currently in mark-up in the Judiciary Committee. The bill (S. 744) would give a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. It also requires the Department of Homeland Security to secure the border within five years—but if not, the legislation will set up a commission to address the issue.
King and other House Republicans said on Monday that they offered “another viewpoint” from Republicans who believe amnesty is necessary for the GOP following the 2012 election. He said the bill is “being stampeded” without enough scrutiny.
“The people on the other side of the aisle, they want amnesty for a number of reasons, the biggest one it’s a big political boost for them,” King said. “I don’t understand why Republicans think it’s a good idea, but somehow they’ve bought into this idea.”
He also said the bill is a “terrible idea” from an economic perspective. “At no stage in their lives does the universe of those who would receive amnesty make a net financial contribution to this country,” King said. “At no stage. Not a single year.”
A member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, King cited the Heritage Foundation’s recent report by Robert Rector and Jason Richwine that found granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would add $6.3 trillion to the federal deficit and $9.4 trillion in government benefits to the newly minted citizens.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has also warned that the bill gives Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano “virtually unlimited discretion to waiver” prohibitions on obtaining legal status, such as criminal activity or previous deportation.
“The big question I would pose out there is, why?” King said. “Why is that 844-page bill, why is it good for America and Americans?”
“I can’t get that answer on why it’s good for us,” he said.