August 05, 2014, 01:50 pm
'Dreamers' confront Steve King; Paul exits
By Peter Sullivan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI8rCleTbSo
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) got up and walked away from a table after two people came up to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to confront him over his position on immigration.
The incident occurred Monday at a fundraiser Paul was attending for King in Iowa. It was captured on a video posted by Matt Hildreth of the pro-immigration reform group America's Voice.
The two people who approached King were Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas. Both were brought to the United States from other countries as children and do not have permanent legal status. They are referred to as "Dreamers" by supporters who say they should be given permanent legal status.
Paul shook hands with both people when they came up to the table, but when Andiola told King, "I'm actually a Dreamer myself," a man to Paul's left motioned to the senator and he got up and walked away.
King, on the other hand, stayed and had a more than five-minute conversation with Andiola and Vargas.
Andiola presented her card given to her under President Obama's program allowing some who came to the country illegally to stay.
She told King, a leading opponent of any immigration reform, to rip the card if he really opposed the program.
"You keep your card," King said. "I don’t do individual policy. I do national policy for everyone."
Andiola referenced King's previous comment about immigrant drug smugglers with "calves the size of cantaloupes."
"You’re very good at English. You know what I’m saying," King said, saying he was not referring to all immigrants.
"I spoke of drug smugglers," he said. "Now you’re not going to tell me you’re one of them, are you?"
Paul is widely seen as positioning himself for a presidential run in 2016, and was in Iowa, home to the first nominating contest.
He voted against the bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last June. However, he told The New York Times in March 2013 that those in the country illegally could get in the "normal line for citizenship."
“I think the conversation needs to start by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants," he said in a speech the same month.
In June of this year, Paul said on NBC's "Meet the Press": “I am for immigration reform, but I insist that you secure the border first because if you have a beacon, of some kind of forgiveness, without a secure border, the whole world will come."