Steve King

Steve King: President Trump Can Save America From Becoming A Third World Country

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, defended his staunch anti-immigrant record at last week’s New Hampshire National Security Action Summit, alleging that proponents of immigration reform “advocate the destruction of rule of law and for anarchy and the descending down into Third World status.”

“You notice that the people that are for amnesty, they’re the ones that make race and ethnicity an issue because they’ve lost the argument and are reduced to calling names,” King said.

Fortunately, King said, at least one candidate is addressing his concerns: Donald Trump.

“I’m glad Donald Trump is making this a big issue,” the congressman said, before explaining that he thinks just one border wall isn’t enough. King added that the next president must “restore the respect for the rule of law” because “without it we cannot be a civilization anything any better than Third World.”

He then took a dig at undocumented immigrants: “By the way, when people come over here and live in the shadows and then they come to us and protest out in the open that we’re supposed to somehow give them a path to citizenship because we’re making them live in the shadows, they came here to live in the shadows. We don’t have a moral obligation to pull them out of the shadows, I just say get right with the law.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/31/15

  • Eric W. Dolan @ Raw Story: Ted Cruz denies his dad is a birther while admitting his father said Obama should go ‘back to Kenya.’

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/13/15

Steve King: It's 'Mexicans Or Central Americans That Are Doing The Raping'

In an interview with The Hill newspaper today, Rep. Steve King defended Donald Trump’s comments calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and drug dealers, echoing Trump in claiming that the risk of sexual assault for women crossing the southern border translates into Mexican and Central American men being rapists.

"So yes, they’re being raped, they’re being murdered they’re being brutalized,” he told The Hill, “and when I know I’ve been challenged on that, 'well you can’t conclude that (it's) Mexicans or Central Americans that are doing the raping,' well, can you conclude anything else? They are being raped, they are victims of rape, and the price for the transit sometimes is, often is and predominantly is their body.”

Interestingly, while Republican presidential candidates have been scrambling to distance themselves from Trump, they continue to cater to King.

Steve King Says Boehner Punished Him By Denying Him SCOTUS Tickets; Chief Justice Roberts Hooked Him Up

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told radio host Jan Mickelson on Tuesday that House Speaker John Boehner tried to punish him for bucking House leadership by denying him tickets to see the Supreme Court oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the Affordable Care Act case, but then Chief Justice John Roberts saved the day in the end by finding him a seat.

“He’s also trying to block me from hearing oral arguments before the Supreme Court, on Obamacare, for example, so I went to Chief Justice Roberts and he gave me a couple tickets on his special front bench and we went ahead anyway,” King told Mickelson.

King also repeated his story of being pulled off a diplomatic mission by Boehner at the very last minute, which he later revealed was a congressional delegation to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. King ended up paying for his own ticket and showing up anyway, to the surprise of the delegation’s leader.

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/1/15

Steve King: Impeach Ginsburg & Kagan Over Gay Marriage Decision

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said yesterday that he would support impeaching Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan over their participation in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case whenever “the public is ready” for such proceedings.

King, a guest on Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson’s program, took a call from a listener who said of the justices who voted to strike down same-sex marriage bans, “I submit that these are rogue justices and they can be impeached and removed by Congress.”

King told the caller that he agreed with him, but “impeachment itself,, we have learned throughout history, is a political decision” and the timing is “up to the will of the people.”

“That provision does exist, and let’s hear what the public has to say,” he added. “If that were put up before me today, and I think I mentioned Ginsburg and Kagan as being two that had been conducting same-sex marriages on their spare time and did not recuse themselves, I would put up the vote to remove them from office. And I’d like to see that case heard again and it would come down four-to-three and it in the end it would come back to the states for that decision, where it should be. But I don’t know if the public is ready for that.”

Mickelson then asked King about Sen. Ted Cruz’s idea of establishing retention elections for Supreme Court justices — similar to those in Iowa in 2010 that resulted in three state supreme court justices losing their jobs in retribution for marriage equality votes — which King said he thought was “a pretty good idea.”

But in the near term, King said, the nation must turn to “nationwide civil disobedience” in defiance of the marriage decision. He also repeated his plan for states to “abolish civil marriage” in order to deny the benefits and responsibilities of marriage to gay and lesbian couples.

“By doing so we can avoid the litigation that’s coming at every one of our churches,” he said, claiming that gay rights advocates “will not stop until they can force a priest to conduct a same-sex marriage at the altar of a Catholic church.”

Earlier in the program, King went on a long tangent linking the U.S. Constitution not only to the Magna Carta and to Greek and Roman law, but also to the New Testament.

“You can go piece by piece of this all the way through the history of the foundation of western civilization to get to the underpinnings of the pillars of American exceptionalism,” he said. “And we seem to have forgotten about those underpinnings and now we’re at this place where there is no right and wrong and the rule of tyranny of whoever can get leverage in whatever form and five justices in the Supreme Court setting a policy that turns over thousands of years of human experience.”

“This Constitution is rendered an artifact of history if we let this stand,” he warned.

Right-Wing 'Documentary': Gay Rights, Like Communism, Can Be Defeated

Janet Porter, the creator of the anti-gay film “Light Wins,” says in the “documentary” that opponents of the gay rights movement should look to Ronald Reagan for inspiration. Just as Reagan brought down the Soviet Union, Porter dubiously claims, conservatives can still beat the odds and roll back the tide in favor gay rights.

As Dr. John Diggs adds, communism may be coming to the U.S.: “Political correctness, as people may not recall, is a term that was born in the Soviet Union where thousands if not millions of people died because they tried to quash religion and because they tried to quash political dissent by sending people to gulags. Don’t let this happen in America.”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality claims that America “will crumble like all civilizations before who embraced and celebrated sexual immorality,” adding that homosexuality is “the only sexual sin that has its own parade.”

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who appears in the movie along with fellow Republican politicians Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Tim Huelskamp and Louie Gohmert, cites a successful campaign to kick three Iowa Supreme Court justices off the bench in retribution for their support of marriage equality as a reason anti-gay activists should have hope.

The documentary ends with Porter calling on people to shine their (smart phone) lights in the darkness, “because in the battle between darkness and light, light wins.”

We have posted excerpts here:

Steve King: Tighter Gun Laws Would Violate America's 'Higher Calling'

In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway on Friday, Rep. Steve King slammed President Obama for remarking in the wake of the mass shooting in Charleston last week that because of tighter gun laws “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

King acknowledged that mass shootings are more frequent in the United States, but said that American has a “higher calling” than preventing “one event of violence” and can only be “the bastion of western civilization” if individual gun rights are unrestricted.

“Yes, we have a Second Amendment,” the Iowa Republican said. “And even if some of this violence could be stopped by confiscating all the guns, we have a charge, our charge is to defend freedom and liberty. We are the bastion of western civilization, and that requires us to be able to defend ourselves against tyranny. That’s the charge that our founding fathers gave us, that’s in our culture, we know that, we’ve had to do that worldwide. So, it’s a much higher calling than believing that somehow we end one event of violence.”


 

 

Steve King Blames Drugs For Charleston Shooting, Says Undocumented Immigrants Have Killed More People Than 9/11

Steve Malzberg invited Rep. Steve King onto his Newsmax program on Friday to discuss issues ranging from the church shooting in Charleston, which King blamed on prescription medication, to undocumented immigrants, whom he said have killed “multiples of the victims of the September 11 attacks,” to Caitlyn Jenner, whom he said illustrates “how far this society has gone from rational thought.”

The Iowa Republican also had some thoughts on Hillary Clinton’s slam of Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric in his presidential announcement. King said that Clinton unfairly made the “presumption that perhaps there will be some white people that might discriminate against some not-so-white people on the basis of being inspired by Trump’s speech.”

He also attempted to criticize the former secretary of state for inconsistency: “It’s Hillary that says ‘I’m not going to channel my husband,’ but she would channel Donald Trumps announcement speech instead to try to gain a political advantage out of that.”

Steve King: There Is No Anti-Muslim Discrimination In America

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said yesterday that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s promise earlier this year to “give voice to the plight of Muslims living in this country and the discrimination that they face” was “just appalling,” adding that he does not believe Muslim-Americans face any discrimination.

Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson played King a clip of Johnson’s remarks at a February summit on violent extremism, asking incredulously, “So the guy that we put in charge of homeland security thinks that it’s his job as chief of the homeland security to give voice to Muslims while calling Islam the religion of peace?”

“This is just appalling to think that the man who’s in charge of protecting Americans domestically would take a position like that, Jan,” King responded.

“The president can dredge up his Crusader history and try to leverage that back against us to guilt us,” he said, referring to President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, “but what’s this discrimination that’s going on against Muslims in this country? I’m not seeing it. I mean, they’re beheading Christians on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and some people are speaking ill of that component. So where are the moderate Muslims speaking up?”

Steve King: Legalizing Gay Marriage 'Throws This Country Into An Endless Trauma'

Rep. Steve King appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program yesterday, where he warned that a Supreme Court ruling striking down state bans on gay marriage "throws this country into an endless trauma."

Likening any such ruling to Roe v Wade, the Iowa Republican declared that "the public will not accept a huge decision of the Supreme Court that's not a decision of the people" before confusingly comparing it to the Dred Scott decision by seemingly suggesting that it would take a constitutional amendment and decades of legislation to overturn any decision legalizing gay marriage.

"Dred Scott back in 1857, the court thought that they were going to solve the slavery question by telling Congress that they couldn't free the slaves and telling the county that slaves could never be citizens," King said. "They made that decision and that helped move us towards a civil war ... Then in 1866, there was a civil rights act; that wasn't enough to get the job done. There was the Thirteenth Amendment that freed the slaves. The Fourteenth Amendment that guaranteed them full citizenship and then we still were a hundred years before we got the Civil Rights Act."

"If all of that to eliminate slavery, do they really think that they can do what they're going to do to marriage, with one decision of the Supreme Court and society is going to accept that?" he asked. "Society is in for a long battle":

Steve King: 'What Happens To The Demographics Of America' If Birthright Citizenship Continues?

At a House hearing yesterday on his proposal to challenge the 14th Amendment’s birthright citizenship requirement, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, alleged that the provision’s defenders simply want to “expand [their] political base by any means necessary” and worried about what preserving birthright citizenship will do to the country’s “demographics.”

King’s bill, which he has introduced a number of times in the House, seeks to end birthright citizenship by statute, since he and his allies claim — despite overwhelming historical evidence — that the 14th Amendment was not meant to apply to the children of immigrants. He calls it part of his strategy to fight the “anchor baby agenda.”

In the hearing, King approvingly cited the Dominican Republic’s repeal of its birthright citizenship law, which has left thousands of Haitian migrants stateless. Saying that the Constitution’s birthright citizenship provision “hands over the immigration policy to everyone except Americans,” King alleged that there’s no argument for it “unless you want to expand your political base by any means necessary."

Later in the hearing, King asked John Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies “if this practice goes on…can we confer citizenship on people who don’t even want it? And what happens to the demographics of America if this policy is not reversed?”

Anti-Gay Activists Warn Supreme Court of 'Tyranny' & God's 'Wrath Upon America' Following Marriage Decision

In a press conference today in front of the Supreme Court, Faith 2 Action’s Janet Porter gathered a who’s who of radical anti-gay activists and “ex-gays” to deliver “restraining orders” to the Supreme Court demanding that the justices not hear arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

Far from a far-right pipe dream, Porter’s bill to block federal courts from ruling on marriage was introduced last week by Rep. Steve King in the House and Sen. Ted Cruz in the Senate. “We have appealed to Congress to restrain the judges, and the good news is Congress has heard our cry,” Porter said.

The activists, including Scott Lively, Peter LaBarbera and Bill Owens, also announced that they were filing a motion asking Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan to recuse themselves from the case because they, in Lively’s words, “deliberately officiated at so-called homosexual wedding ceremonies.”

Ginsburg and Kagan, Lively charged, “have committed an unparalleled breach of judicial ethics by elevating the importance of their own favorite political cause of gay rights above the integrity of the court and of our nation.”

Porter distributed to attendees copies of her new anti-gay documentary “Light Wins,” which features a number of GOP politicians and conservative activists claiming that the institution of equal rights for LGBT people will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity,” a theme heard throughout the press conference.

Greg Quinlan, an “ex-gay” activist, echoed the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins , saying a Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality “will bring open season on Torah Jews and biblical Christians, and it will definitely bring open season on those of us who left homosexuality.”

Steven Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas, a Roy Moore acolyte who has been advocating for a bill in his state barring the use of funds to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples if the state’s marriage ban is struck down, declared that gay marriage is “not a marriage, it’s a mirage, because it’s counterfeit, it’s a lie, it’s untrue.”

A decision in favor of marriage equality, he warned, “would force individuals to have to condone, accept, even celebrate sexual immorality among certain elements of the population and teach it to the children.”

“It would criminalize Christianity,” he added. “The pastors would be forced to have to marry those of the same-sex.”

Peter LaBarbera, the head of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality declared that the Supreme Court is “poised to nationalize a historical anomaly, so-called marriage based on a sexual perversion, as a constitutional right.”

“A nation cannot simultaneously honor God and codify sexual sin as a supposed civil right,” he said, adding that “apparently the ‘T’ in LGBT stands for ‘tyranny.’”

Bill Johnson, a former state official with the American Family Association who now runs the American Decency Association, warned that a decision favorable to marriage equality would invite God’s "wrath upon America:

Meanwhile, Wiley Drake, a pastor who has prayed for President Obama’s death, was filming the whole event, at one point turning around to tell reporters that America has a Christian “birth certificate.”

“Our nation has a birth certificate. The president doesn’t, but our nation does.”
 

Rep. Steve King Introduces Court-Stripping Bill Written By Radical Anti-Gay Activists

Yesterday, Rep. Steve King announced the introduction of his "Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015," which would strip federal courts of the ability to hear any case involving the issue of marriage equality:

A Republican lawmaker is trying to keep federal courts from hearing same-sex marriage cases.

Less than a week before the Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in potentially one of the nation’s most influential cases on gay marriage, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015 to preserve state bans.

“For too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution.” King said in a news release. “Rather, federal courts have perverted the Constitution to make law and create constitutional rights to things such as privacy, birth control, and abortion. These Unenumerated, so-called constitutionally-protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers.”

King’s bill strips way Article III of the Constitution, which gives federal courts the jurisdiction to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage. The bill also prohibits federal funds from being used for any litigation in, or enforcement of any order or judgment by, any federal court.

King said his bill would stop the courts from “destroying traditional marriage.”

What is going unreported is fact that this bill is the result of a campaign backed by some of the most radical anti-gay activists operating today, including Peter LaBarbera, BarbWire, Vision America, Dr. Steve Hotze, and others.

The idea itself was the brainchild of Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter, a longtime anti-gay activist who, just yesterday, warned that gay marriage was responsible for Noah's flood.

Porter was also the driving force behind the recent anti-gay documentary "Light Wins," which featured a handful of GOP elected officials and presidential candidates along with dozens of hardline anti-gay activists warning that gay activists seek to criminalize Christianity:

Not too long ago, we produced an overview of just some of the insane things that Porter has said and done in recent years:

  • Claimed that pastors who won’t perform same-sex marriages will be “carried off into jail” in states with marriage equality laws.
  • Blamed gay rights for Noah’s Flood in a column entitled: “How Same-Sex Marriage Points To End Of The World.”
  • Claimed Jason Collins’ decision to come out of the closet will endanger freedom. 
  • Warned that President Obama will use the Swine flu to “round up American citizens” and throw them in “FEMA concentration camps.”
  • Wondered if former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is the Antichrist.

Steve King: Obama Destroyed The Soul of America

Republican leaders may want Rep. Steve King of Iowa to make himself scarce during the 2016 presidential election season, but the vocal far-right congressman made it clear in a speech to the Susan B. Anthony List’s gala last week that he intends to do nothing of the sort. Instead, he said, he would work to pressure the party’s candidates to take strong stances against abortion rights and LGBT equality in order to assure that the next president can “restore the soul of America” that was destroyed by President Obama.

“There are some of the candidates that think if they don’t come to Iowa, they don’t have to deal with Steve King,” the congressman told the anti-choice group. “But tomorrow morning at six o’clock I’m going to get on a plane and go to New Hampshire and next May 9, I’m going to be in South Carolina. And we are going to push full-spectrum constitutional conservatism — life and marriage — all the way through this.”

King told the group that the candidates were “good people” and that Republicans are “going to have a good nominee.” But he said that likeminded conservatives still need to pray “that God raises up a president whom he will use to restore the soul of America” after the country has been “deconstructed from the White House” by “a man who is taking on the pillars of American exceptionalism with…a procedural jackhammer.”

Steve King: Undocumented Immigrants Will 'Destroy Our Republic' And Western Civilization

In an interview with Boston Herald Radio at the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform’s annual radio row event today, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, warned that undocumented immigration and “identity politics” will not only “destroy our republic” but will ultimately lead to the collapse of Western Civilization by preventing the U.S. from leading the fight against radical Islam.

“I think that if we don’t enforce immigration law and if we continue down the path of the president’s amnesty and the recruitment of people in foreign countries to come in here illegally and giving them a path to legality and eventually a path to citizenship, I think that destroys our republic,” he said.

He urged the GOP to “stick with” the anti-immigration planks in its platform, saying, “You know, identity politics I think are a mistake too. I’m just no great fan of identity politics.”

He urged the GOP to instead reach out to immigrants and Latino voters by telling them that immigration reform will prevent the U.S. from putting “the pillars of American exceptionalism back together,” thus depriving Western Civilization of a “captain” in the fight against radical Islam.

“If you look at the rest of the free world, Western Europe, for example, Australia, New Zealand, those areas of Western Civilization, they look to us to be the leader. They do not have the capability of saving this world, I should say saving Western Civilization for the world, without America,” he said.

Later in the interview, King offered a novel solution to problems with foreign student visa holders disappearing from the government’s radar: bond them like people being released from jail.

Calling it a “business proposal” based on his experience as in the construction industry when his work was guaranteed by bonds, King asked, “Why can’t we do that with these students and just say bond them into this?”

“Bond them that they’ll come and they’ll follow the law and if their visa expires, we’ll just blame this on the bonding agent,” he said. “That’s how we let people out of jail. There’s a whole system out there, there’s an industry out there, why not let that be the guarantee? And then there’s no sweat on the enforcement, you just happen to have the check and balance in place.”

King also repeated his frustration with the House GOP leadership for bucking a plan he supported to shut down the government over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

When asked, “Why can’t we deport people?” King responded, “If we were aggressive on this, that’s how you restore the respect for the rule of law. And instead, it’s the lack of political will.”

Steve King Joins Long Line Of Conservatives Who Attack Jewish Democrats

Rep. Steve King turned heads over the weekend when he scolded Jewish Democrats for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. In comments first reported on BuzzFeed, the Iowa congressman said he does not “understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president.” He later added that “everyone in the discussion knows I’m right.”

King’s suggestion that the vast majority of Jews in America are somehow bad Jews by voting Democratic is a regular talking point among Christian Right speakers.

Here is a look at other right-wing leaders who have denounced American Jews for daring to vote against the GOP:

1) Bachmann: Jews ‘Sold Out Israel’

Before leaving Congress, Michele Bachmann denounced Jewish voters for having supposedly “sold out Israel” by showing support for President Obama.

She told Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that she found it “shocking” that many Jews “support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president over the best interests of Israel.”

2) Family Research Council Angry With Jewish Money

Like Bachmann, FRC’s Perkins has said that it’s “ironic” that while “the Democratic Party works against the benefit of Israel in many ways,” many Democratic members of Congress are “mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby” and “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.” He also criticized “liberal Jewish folk” for supporting marriage equality, which he alleged will somehow harm Israel.

Jerry Boykin, the group’s executive vice president, criticized American Jews for believing that Adolf Hitler was a leader of Germany’s far-right.

3) American Jews Are Simply ‘Confused’

Like Boykin, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association thinks that American Jews are simply ignorant or “confused.”

“The Jewish vote in this country is so confused,” Rios said in 2012. “So many of the Jews in this country are atheist and their hearts are with this president, at least their political concerns are with this president. They are with him on all the issues, you know abortion, all the things you might list.” She went on to say that while “most of the Jews in this country are far left, unfortunately,” even more dangerous are “Jewish atheists” who “sometimes turn out to be the worst enemies of the country.”

Rios has also claimed that “Jewish leftists in this country are eager to embrace Islam” and warned that “powerful Jewish forces” are out to suppress freedom.

4) ‘Self-Hating Jews’ Run Obama Administration

Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman marked Independence Day last year by blasting the “self-hating” Jews in the Obama administration who “lose no opportunity to distance themselves from their Judeo-Christian heritage in the style of Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky and indeed the evil Fuhrer Adolf Hitler himself, who many historians have concluded had Jewish roots on his father's side of the family.”

“These types of Jews, some of whom are present in the Obama White House to give Obama cover for his anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli acts and practices, are among the greatest enemies of the Jewish people,” he said, claiming that they help those “who are dedicated to [Israel’s] destruction.”

In another column, he went even further in criticizing the supposed “leftist Jewish influence” behind “anti-family institutions like gay marriage” and the “outright criminal behavior of the Obama administration,” writing: “I am more than embarrassed and appalled as a Jew to see my own people at the forefront of a number of scandals now perpetrated by the Muslim-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama, and his leftist Jewish government comrades and partners in crime. It is time for the great majority of Jews, who are honest law-abiding citizens, to speak up and play a role in helping to put these felonious liberal Jews in a place where the sun don't shine – meaning prison.”

He said that while the Jews who oppose such liberals are the “true Jews” who “police their own house and [do] not allow criminal behavior to go unaddressed, no matter what the source,” those who do not fight Obama are “more akin to ‘Hitler’s Jews.’

5) Tom DeLay’s Message To The Jewish Community

Since leaving the House, Tom DeLay has refashioned himself as a Religious Right crusader, and has a message for the “liberal Jews, Democrat Jews in America”: ditch Obama.

He said that such Jews should “never forget that this president, in everything that he has done, he has tried to undermine Israel” and push Marxism on America.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/20/15

Seriously? Republicans Target Birthright Citizenship Again?

This op-ed by Randy Borntager, Political Director of People For the American Way, was originally published at The Huffington Post.

After the vast majority of Republicans voted to shut down the Department of Homeland Security to oppose President Obama's immigration actions, and with Republicans blocking any hope of real immigration reform this Congress, it seems the anti-immigrant movement has instead decided to refocus its efforts on revoking the constitutional right to birthright citizenship.

Earlier this week, Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana decided to introduce a birthright citizenship amendment to the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. The amendment so far has just one cosponsor -- Sen. David Perdue of Georgia -- and it's unlikely that it will be included in the final bill, but this decision to tack an unconstitutional, anti-immigrant measure onto an important bill shows the priorities of Sen. Vitter and the Republican Party.

Sen. Vitter claims that his birthright citizenship amendment would help curb the issue of "birth tourism," recently in the news surrounding Chinese mothers coming to California -- often committing crimes in the process -- so their children can be born in the U.S. It would seem more sensible to tackle this issue through targeting the middlemen who NBC reports "pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars tax-free," and the visa, tax, and marriage fraud that are often a key part of "birth tourism." Instead, Sen. Vitter and the many Republicans who support ending birthright citizenship are trying to use the issue as cover for their attacks on immigrants and attempts to revoke a core constitutional right.

The flaws of the conservative attacks on birthright citizenship have been well documented. First, it's blatantly unconstitutional. It's clear that the drafters of the 14th Amendment intended it to guarantee citizenship to everyone born in the U.S. The only exception -- in the words of one of the amendment drafter's, Sen. Jacob Howard -- is for people "who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States," as they are not, as the 14th Amendment requires, "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. Conservatives from Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush adviser, to the anti-immigrant Lou Dobbs have viewed attempts to undermine birthright citizenship as unconstitutional.

It's also a terrible idea. Gerson wrote, "Anti-immigration activists often claim that their real concern is to prevent law breaking, not to exclude Hispanics. But revoking birthright citizenship would turn hundreds of thousands of infants into 'criminals'--arriving, not across a border, but crying in a hospital." The Migration Policy Institute also found that rather than decreasing the number of undocumented immigrants in America, as birthright citizenship activists claim, revoking the right would "likely increase dramatically" the number of people in the country without authorization, leading to the "establishment of a permanent class of unauthorized persons."

Sen. Vitter is not the only Republican promoting anti-immigrant bills instead of trying for real, bipartisan solutions on immigration. In January of this year, Rep. Steve King of Iowa re-introduced a bill aiming to repeal birthright citizenship. Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Rep. Mike Coffman, and Rep. Joe Heck have all backed plans to revoke birthright citizenship in the past.

We need immigration reform. From improving the economy while reducing the deficit to ensuring that DREAMers and their families can live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation, the benefits are endless. Not only have Republicans blocked comprehensive immigration reform when it had a real chance of passing, they're now trying yet again to bring up unconstitutional bills to drive their point home. That's not what responsible governing looks like, and for a party that says they're trying to attract more Latino support, they're certainly not shy about attacking immigrants for short-term political gain.

PFAW
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