Congress should not address comprehensive immigration reform until there’s a new president of the United States, Rep. Steve King tells Newsmax TV.
“Congress does not have an obligation to resolve the issue of the 11 million to 33 million people who are here illegally,” King, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “They came here on their own. They came here to live in the shadows.
“There's no moral calling for us to solve the problem that they created for themselves,” he adds. “They can easily solve it just by returning to the country where they can live legally.”
The GOP-controlled House will hold a special conference on immigration on Wednesday. King forced the closed-door strategy session by obtaining signatures from fellow House members.
Story continues below the video.
Last month, King hosted a six-hour marathon news conference on Capitol Hill to protest the pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants that was included in the sweeping reform legislation later approved on a 68-32 vote by the Senate. The bill was sent to the House.
“I hope we get to this tomorrow in the special conference in such a way that members are in a position where they have to articulate their positions and they'll listen to others,” King tells Newsmax of the strategy session. “If you legalize people that are here illegally, that means that it is a path to citizenship.
“Eventually, those folks that are rewarded with the objective of their crime will be voting,” he says. “They will have the measure of citizenship — and we can get to that piece, maybe we can understand then, as a group, that there's nothing in this for Republicans, Independents, Americans.
“It isn't good for the American people. The only people in America who are beneficiaries of such a policy would be elitists, political power-brokering Democrats and those who hire illegals. Other than that, there's nothing in it for Americans.
“There's no reason for us to do this — and we have no obligation, no moral obligation, to bring people out of the shadows,” King adds. “They came here to live in the shadows. I suggest we enforce the law we have and otherwise let them have what they came here for, which is to live in the shadows.”
The strategy session is to be led by House Speaker John Boehner, who has said he will not bring up the Senate’s immigration bill for a vote, given strong opposition among the Republican conference.
Boehner said on Monday that the House would develop its own immigration overhaul plan.
King hopes the Speaker honors his pledge.
“I'd like to take it off the table — and I'd like to see leadership make a statement that we're not going to legalize people that are here illegally,” King tells Newsmax. “We're going to take up the important business of the American people — and a lot of that is oversight over this Obama administration that refuses to enforce the law. That's where we need to go. I want to restore the rule of law and I don't want to grant amnesty.”
No matter how any possible immigration legislation might make it to the House floor — in pieces, as the Judiciary Committee supports, or as one comprehensive bill — King says it should not happen. “If it comes to the floor, it will be brought to the floor with the votes to pass it.”
He notes that the committee’s bill includes provisions for strong border security, empowering local governments to enforce immigration laws, for instance.
“Any vehicle that we send over to the Senate is potentially a conference-able bill — and if we send that over to the Senate, you know [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid can just put a little bit of language in there that guts it or actually strikes it all out, put in the Senate's Gang of Eight amnesty bill and send it back to us or insist on a conference,” King suggests.
“There's no reason for us to be vulnerable on losing the rule of law over the idea that the Senate's never going to pass anything that fails to legalize people that have broken the law. The president's not going to sign anything that doesn't give him his political objective — and the president don’t enforce the law, so we cannot do business with a president who will not honor his own oath of office.”
King continued his attack on President Barack Obama over immigration, reflecting on recent developments on Obamacare.
“The president's not going to enforce the law; he's made that clear. Even with Obamacare — the bill with his own name on it and his own signature on it — he's decided he can amend his own bill by simply sending a memo out posting it on a website.
“That's appalling to me from a constitutional perspective,” King adds, “and I can't do business with a man who is no more trustworthy than that.”
© 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.