May 23, 2013
abc news

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks at a press conference about an act that would establish English as the official language of the United States government. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

An immigration reform bill in the Senate would create a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

And it's making headway -- some expect a vote by the end of June.

But a similar effort in the House will have to withstand opposition from people like Republican Congressman Steve King.

The Iowa congressman is leading an anti-amnesty posse with a lot in common: whiteness, maleness, 50 plus-ness, Republican-ness. Oh yeah, and they're against the immigration reform bill.

Not only does King want to kill the bill, he called out undocumented people who attended a hearing yesterday about the legislation:

#Immigration: Illegal aliens in House Judiciary Committee room during hearing today. How can we secure border if we can't secure our room?

— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) May 22, 2013

I asked King on Thursday if there should have been federal immigration officers in the room to track down people without papers.

"There was an agent in the room...his name is Chris Crane," King said, referencing the head of a union for immigration agents. "He is prohibited from enforcing immigration law by the existing leadership."

I asked if Crane should have been allowed to deport the people in the hearing.

"Even if he has someone that he knows is here illegally and they're in jail, he can't deport them," King responded.

FYI, federal immigration agents did not mobilize in reaction to King's tweet, which came after the hearing.

Regardless, the DREAMers in the room hit back:

Yes @stevekingia undocumented immigrants were present at #HJC hearing & we will continue to be #11milliondreams…

— Julieta Garibay (@dreamelder) May 23, 2013

Liberal policy analyst Philip Wolgin put it succinctly:

Jackass @stevekingia: #Immigration: Illegal aliens in HJC room during hearing today. How can we secure border if we can't secure our room?

— Philip Wolgin (@pwolgin) May 23, 2013

And this cat had a funny tweet related to King, but not to this comment, specifically. Still including it here, because, what the heck:

Steve King found a dark hair in his food at lunch today, requests a "pause" be put on immigration for 10 years.

— Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat) May 22, 2013

Clarifications have been added to this article regarding the time of Congressman King's tweet.