August 5th, 2014
08:05 AM ET
6 years ago

Undocumented immigrant confronts Rep. Steve King at fundraiser

Okoboji, Iowa (CNN) – Republican Rep. Steve King was confronted Monday night at his own fundraiser by an undocumented immigrant and activist who argued with the Iowa congressman over his stance on immigration.

Erika Andiola, who’s involved with the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, mostly took issue with King’s vote last week to curb the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allows certain young people - who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children - to delay deportation.

House Republicans argue the policy, enacted under President Barack Obama's administration, has helped spur the crisis in which more than 60,000 children from Central America have fled to the U.S.-Mexico border this year.

Andiola introduced herself as a beneficiary of DACA as King was eating dinner at the fundraiser, which took place at an open restaurant in Okoboji, Iowa. She was joined by another migrant, Cesar Vargas.

“I know you really want to get rid of DACA, so I just wanted to give you the opportunity and rip mine,” Andiola said, handing King a piece of paper.

The congressman studied the paper and stood up, saying, “This is not what I do.”

The two then entered a lengthy back-and-forth with both talking over each other repeatedly. In the exchange, King defended his 2013 controversial comments about undocumented immigrants having “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

“I spoke of drug smugglers,” he told Andiola. “Now you’re not here to tell me you’re one of them, are you?”

Andiola said she came to the country from Mexico with her mother when she was 11 and has lived in the U.S. for 17 years. She said her mother was escaping an abusive relationship, and they already had family in the U.S., so they came across the border.

Her mom had applied to get into the U.S. legally but was denied, she said.

“And so it’s OK then to violate the law?” King answered back.

“I’m really sorry that you come from a lawless country,” he later added. “I hope that you can have a happy life. But please, do not erode the rule of law in America.”

King traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas recently with fellow Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. In his speech at the fundraiser, he recalled a moment when the two lawmakers went to the southern tip of the state and planted an American flag for people to see from the Mexico side. They then rode off in their rental car playing “very patriotic” country music by Toby Keith, he said.

“It just felt good to be a strong American,” he told reporters.

For her part, Andiola told the media that she was in Iowa for work and saw that King was holding the fundraiser, with a guest appearance by Sen. Rand Paul (who was escorted away during the confrontation for an interview.)

She’s been working to raise awareness about the issue since she got her deferral and worked last year in Congress for Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, she said.

“We’re trying the best way possible to be accepted by this community…to be able to work here, to become Americans. A lot of us grew up as Americans but we’re not accepted as one,” Andiola said.

The DREAM Action Coalition later released the full exchange on YouTube.

King argued Andiola and Vargas simply came “to create a scene.”

“And I decided early in the conversation that I was not going to walk away,” he told reporters. “They’re here demanding that we change the laws…Why would you want to bring lawlessness to the United States of America? And that’s the question they cannot answer. Why would we want to turn America into a third world country?”

Filed under: Immigration • Iowa • Steve King
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Ian's Rushtache

    Steve King concerned about eroding the rule of law in the US, except for all his fellow criminals in Congress.

    August 5, 2014 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    --name itself is undocumented. Why not they go back and come legally. Some flaw in it. Just Deport while pie is shrinking. Don't give money to Israel either. Citizens, immigrants come first. Good luck. Cut all visas. Freeze immigration for twenty years.

    August 5, 2014 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    The illegals come here and make demands, when they have no rights here at all. That is why they have to be deported. They simply have to face the truth, they broke the law in America, and if the situation were reversed, they would be thrown in prison in Mexico. We should be doing no less.

    August 5, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  4. Sniffing n Garggling Ozass in Tampa

    Why was this ILLEGAL Immigrant not arrested and deported as per US Immigration Law?
    Why is she allowed to aid and abet illegal immigrants in violation of US Law?

    August 5, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  5. Chris..E.Al

    This is a sure sign things are waaaay out of hand . Why should we tolerate this lawlessness ? Do we owe them anything ? Yes we do a free ride and a dont let the door hit you in the . . . ? What the nerve .

    August 5, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  6. just asking

    aren't we a wonderfully stupid country that let's itself be invaded by tens of millions of illegal aliens who then spit in our face and make demands of us. some day this country will wake the hell up. it better happen soon before these illegal invaders take it over.

    August 5, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  7. Chris..E.Al

    This is a sure sign things are waaaay out of hand . Why should we tolerate this lawlessness ? Do we owe them anything ? Yes we do a free ride and a dont let the door hit you in the . . . ? What the nerve . .

    August 5, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |

    King, you are full of it...

    August 5, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |

    As a matter of fact, the whole gop is full of it. They willfully lie every day and act like they are the "chosen ones". Just a bunch of crap...

    August 5, 2014 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I bet tough guy King was quaking in his boots when a woman actually confronted him.

    August 5, 2014 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  11. Hector Slagg

    You ilegals like the oppurtutinities here but you don't want to go thru the process to become a citizen. In your case Erika the story of your mother is bogus. If she left an abusive relationship why did she come to the united states? Sorry, you want to be part of the (Now Mostly) defunct american dream, go back to Mexico and apply for citizenship. By the time you get back the country should look about just like mexico, another 3rd world country.

    August 5, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  12. Rob

    She should have been arrested and deported. She as much as said she and her family have no respect for our laws (Who can blame her, neither does our King in the white house) Her mother was denied a visa so maybe there is something there that makes her mother ineligible. So they came anyway. She and her mother are criminals. By definition, all illegals are criminals.

    August 5, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    "I spoke of drug smugglers,” he told Andiola. “Now you’re not here to tell me you’re one of them, are you?”
    He was speaking about drug smugglers, alright.. He was speaking about EVERYONE sneaking across the border. He was suggesting that EVERYONE was a criminal of one type or another, particularly as drug mules.

    August 5, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. J Anthony

    We are no more a lawful country than those in Central America, we're just better at hiding it. Sorry you hypocrites on the right can't deal with that.

    August 5, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. MaryM

    Wow, such ugly, hateful people. All your hate will eat you up inside and you will die a miserable person!!

    August 5, 2014 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Luc

    We are all sons and daughters of immigrants, the GOP refuse to acknowledge this fact. I sense that there will be history made in November and the GOP will not even see it coming like the 2008,2012 federal elections. This will be fun to watch the Democratic base come out and vote in November which will easily out number the GOP base. With Espanic, African American, women, white, independent vote it will be all over butt the finger pointing for the GOP. It will be epic.

    August 5, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  17. truindep

    an Illegal demanding rights that the person has no right to demand- they have no shame in breaking laws , then do want they want, they get no respect from me , and they have no platform,

    August 5, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. old age voter

    The undocumented immigrant should have been arrested on the spot! Just like the illegal immigrant protesting in front of the White house should have been arrested on the spot! They are breaking the law; it doesn't matter if the Democratic party and president Obama don't like the law; its the law and the law should be enforced!

    August 5, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |

    Steve king the teaparty SUBVERSIVE LOSER along with BACHMEN and BLACKBURN need to be KICKED out of office in November. Bachman QUIT because she can't even get RELECTED in her home state because of her being such a TEATRAMP!!!!

    August 5, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  20. terryjim

    King simplifies the issue:
    Don't turn America into a lawless craphole like the countries you fled.
    This administration wants a populace that is easier to control, so they
    encourage them to come.

    August 5, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    Deport. Pie already shrunk. Bring manufacture, Infrastructure back home, then talk.

    August 5, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Are Country

    Rand Paul must have calves the size of watermelons, considering how fast he ran from the table.

    August 5, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. Throw OUT all Democrat D-Baggers from Congress

    We are all sons and daughters of immigrants,

    Here, let me correct your lie...

    We are all sons and daughters of LEGAL immigrants,

    Do you not know the difference? Are you uneducated?

    August 5, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. Throw OUT all Democrat D-Baggers from Congress

    Wow, such ugly, hateful people. All your hate will eat you up inside and you will die a miserable person!!

    Expecting our borders to be respected and our laws enforced is hateful and ugly? I guess you want open borders and all immigrations laws repealed then.

    August 5, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  25. g

    as long as illegal,s is a money maker for republican fence builders and security firms it will never be resolved,its the jobs Reagan talked about when he shipped American jobs to Mexico

    August 5, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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