In an interview with Iowa TV station KIMT last week, Republican Rep. Steve King implied that undocumented immigrants who wish to join the military are “mercenaries” rather than “patriots.”
King falsely stated that those who would be granted a path to citizenship for military service under the DREAM Act or two bills being considered in the House “lied to get into the military.” The proposals would grant a path to citizenship to some undocumented immigrants by allowing them to enlist openly.
“It isn’t that we have to hire mercenaries to put on a uniform,” King said. “We have always had an adequate number of American patriots to step up who are lawfully present in the United States, most of them citizens.”
King also attacked the Justice Department’s new clemency review guidelines that will consider clemency for nonviolent drug offenders serving sentences under laws that have now changed. The uneven application of draconian drug sentencing laws has disproportionately landed African Americans in jail, often for lengthy sentences, although whites and blacks use illegal drugs at roughly the same rates.
But King dismissed the reasoning for the clemency saying, “Now the administration is preparing to let out as many as 200,000 felons out of prison because he thinks that the law has been unfairly applied to certain demographic groups of people.” He also claimed that the move is unconstitutional, even though the Constitution explicitly grants the president the power to issue pardons.
“There will be crimes committed on the streets of this country in multiple ways and multiple times because of this decision,” King warned.