A Dreamer activist had an encounter with Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Steve King at a fundraiser for King in Iowa last night, and the reactions of the two GOP leaders exemplified the current state of the Republican Party: one doubled down on his extremist rhetoric while the other fled the scene.
When activist Erika Andiola introduced herself as a Dreamer to King and Paul, who were sitting next to each other, Paul finished a bite of his sandwich and then quickly walked away. Ironically, Paul has consistently claimed that he is one of the few Republicans actively reaching out to people of color and insists he’s a supporter of immigration reform, despite voting against the immigration reform bill in the Senate.
Andiola offered King — the anti-immigrant fanatic who is frequently allowed to shape the House GOP’s immigration policy — her DACA card, the document from the program which allows Dreamers to stay in the country that King has led the fight to defund.
“If you are trying to kill DACA, I want to give you the opportunity to rip my DACA card,” she told King, who declined to destroy her card.
King also denied making comments alleging that “for every [Dreamer] who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
Grabbing her wrist, King said, “You are very good at English. You can understand the English language so don’t act like you don’t because you are saying something that is not true.”
He then repeatedly asked Andiola if she was a drug smuggler and if she “understands the English language,” while also asking questions about her mother.
Following the encounter, King said Dreamer activists “want to turn America into a third world country.”