In a speech on the House floor on Tuesday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) compared undocumented immigrants to bank robbers.
King, notorious for railing against any immigration reform efforts, used the comparison to argue that deporting people is “not a particularly draconian punishment”:
KING: Think of it this way: If someone goes in and robs a bank and step out on the steps of the bank with the sack of the loot and law enforcement appears and says, sorry, you can’t keep the loot and we’re going to put that back in the bank but you can go. That’s equivalent of removal. You don’t get to keep the objective of the crime, we put you back in the condition you were in before you committed the crime. That’s not draconian. That’s the minimum you can do and still have a rule of law apply.
Deportation of undocumented immigrants isn’t like letting a bank robber off easy. It tears apart families, separating citizen children from undocumented parents. Often times, those kids are left to foster care.
Even as the Republican party as a whole has tried to reach out more to Latino voters, King has remained one of the most vocal opponents to immigration reform. Last week, he led his party in a vote to deport more DREAMers. He has also advocated for asking immigrants about their legal status at the hospital, has pushed to prevent more “anchor babies” in the US, and tried to use the Boston Marathon bombing to derail immigration reform.