Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on agricultural labor and a guest-worker program saw anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) getting a little bit of a smackdown when he tried to insist that immigration enforcement has been lax under President Obama–despite reams of evidence that, to the contrary, it’s been ever more draconian. Here’s the quote:
KING: We’ve seen the lack of enforcement since ’86 and I would submit that since the ’86 amnesty act was passed there’s been a decrease in enforcement of our immigration law in each succeeding Administration.
He even made a hand gesture to illustrate the “decrease.” Which is helpful, because we wouldn’t know how to visualize a decrease in immigration enforcement over the last 25 years. Especially when every chart that we’ve seen indicates that enforcement is at record levels – record personnel, record spending levels, record deportations. Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) was quick on the rebuttal, soliciting every testifying witness to speak about how wrong Rep. King was.
GARCIA: I don’t think anyone there would agree with the statement that we’re not — we’ve been decreasing enforcement, right? I don’t think any of you would think that’s what’s going on, right? You can say it into the mic, it’s all right, we can hear you over here.
STALLMAN: Based on the reports from our members in various parts of the country, it seems like enforcement by ICE has been increasing.
GARCIA: Mr. Carr?
CARR: Not just by ICE but by Department of Labor. It’s been increasing quite a bit.
GARCIA: Mr. Brown?
BROWN: ICE, Department of Labor, and Department of Justice.
GARCIA: That’s good to hear. Mr.–
KASHKOOLI: Yeah, ICE enforcement, absolutely up. All you have to do is look at how much it costs for someone to get across the country. That market’s working.
GARCIA: We spent $18 billion dollars on enforcing the border. That’s more than we spend on the FBI, DEA, and all other federal law enforcement.
There goes Steve King, marginalizing himself again…