Steve King is the U.S. Representative for Iowa’s 4th congressional district and has been a member of Congress since 2003. King is also a member of the House Judiciary’s Sub-Committee on Immigration and has long been one of Congress’ most outspoken and toxic opponents of immigration reform.
King has a long track record of publicly making bigoted and racist comments about immigrant and minority communities. He once stated that law enforcement officials can “spot” illegal immigrants by noting commonalities such as “what kind of clothes people wear…what kind of accent they have….There are all kinds of indicators there and sometimes it’s just a sixth sense, they can’t put their finger on it.” What King is actually describing is the very practice of racial profiling. he has also characterized undocumented immigrants as innately violent individuals, and at a town hall meeting in Iowa he even compared immigrants to dogs, saying the US should only pick the best immigrants the way one chooses the “pick of a litter.”
King has long held close ties with notorious anti-immigrant and nativist organizations, often partnering with them at various events and fundraisers for the group’s themselves. Crucially, King has proven a dependable ally on The Hill for racist groups, making space for their leaders to speak whenever possible. In August 2005 at the Capitol Hill Press Conference, King joined with two of his House colleagues, Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA), and Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), and the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) president Dan Stein to announce the introduction of the anti-immigrant CLEAR Act. FAIR’s lobbying arm, dubbed its “Congressional Task Force,” has featured also feature him alongside FAIR staffers, such as Julie Kirchner.
King not only fights for the same racist and bigoted worldview as the anti-immigrant movement he stands by, but he also has been a financial beneficiary of their political action committees. King’s campaigns have been a consistent recipient of PAC contributions from the U.S. Immigration Reform PAC. John Tanton’s wife, Mary Lou, serves as the PAC’s President, and its board is full individuals who have worked for FAIR or served on its board.
If his connections to anti-immigrant racists weren’t enough, the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens has praised King, calling him “the Congressman who makes the left cringe.”