President Obama is traveling to Mexico this week to advocate for increased trade ties and cooperation on border enforcement with Mexico in advance of his push for comprehensive immigration reform. But in an interview with Steve Malzberg yesterday, Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King said that Obama is actually in Mexico to “undermine national sovereignty and rule of law” by delivering a “greeting card” to Mexican nationals previously deported from the United States and telling them to “come back and try again.”
King was referring to a provision of the Senate bipartisan immigration reform proposal that would allow some people previously deported for non-criminal reasons to reapply for U.S. residency. Going further, he called the president’s trip “completely outrageous” and accused Republican immigration reform supporters of being “complicit” in the president’s scheme.
King also falsely claimed the bill would provide “instantaneous amnesty” to undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.
Malzberg: Let me ask you, since there’s nobody more active on the immigration than you, and the president of course is in Mexico, and he’s going to give his, you know, his immigration presidential stump speech down in Mexico. To me, that is so inappropriate, it just reeks of inappropriateness. What can we anticipate in his campaign to, again, push for comprehensive immigration reform down in Mexico?
King: Oh my, you know, if you read the bill, the 834-page bill, I think what the president will be doing is already written into the bill. We know that it grants instantaneous amnesty to everybody that’s in the United States illegally, with some exceptions that perhaps will materialize due to law enforcement over time. But it also, in the bill, it invites everybody who has been deported in the past to reapply to come back into the United States, it says, ‘We didn’t mean it.’
So here’s the president down in Mexico, he’s the one that’s essentially carrying the greeting card. Presumably there are people in Mexico who have been deported, he’s down there as president saying, ‘We’re going to legalize everyone that’s in America and if you’ve been deported, come back and try again, we may be able to let you back into the United States.’ I think you’ll hear that from him. This is just, it’s completely outrageous to think that a president would undermine national sovereignty and rule of law that way, and not have the utter outrage of all of Congress lined up against him. And he doesn’t even have the utter outrage of all Republicans lined up against him, because some of them are complicit.