BRITT, Iowa - US Congressman Steve King took questions from the public Monday.
There were concerns over healthcare, climate change and VA clinics, but the most pressing issue people discussed was immigration. That’s a topic that Congressman King has been very familiar with and his discussions have landed him in hot water with Republican leaders.
Congressman King was relieved of his four committee roles after the New York Times quoted him wondering when “White Nationalism”, “White Supremacy” and Western Civilization became offensive.
Congressman King spoke out about the top Republicans decision saying it was premature but constituents are still questioning what can be done.
“You let some many people come into this country, what is the right number?” said Mike Hejlik of Britt referring immigrants coming to the US legally.
Even having to limit some of the questions.
“So when you said multiculturalism is a tool to divide us, what are you talking about,” asked Ian Loehr from San Diego California.
King then asked Loehr to give the microphone back before answering the question. Not everyone sees eye to eye on the issue.
“I went to Canada before and I could imagine going to their country illegally,” said Hejlik.
“I believe in open borders,” said Loehr.
Hejlik worries not only about people coming here illegally but that the current law allows far too many immigrants to enter the US legally.
“How do you handle all these people,” he said. “Where do you draw the line?”
Congressman King explained that there are more than 1.2M immigrants entering the country legally each year. King laid his qualifications for who he feels should be legally allowed to enter the country: those who are young, educated, have an earning capacity, capital and are willing to assimilate.
“It’s not constructive to have an America that is willfully divided,” Congressman King explained. “We need to be pulling people into the American civilization and that’s the formula I proposed quite some time ago.”
Not everyone is on board with the idea of leaving some group who are looking to enter the country legally out of the equation.
“Mr. King’s statements that he has five qualifications on what an immigrant should be is absolutely insane,” Loehr said.
Still, Hejlik said he understands why people would want to come to America whether it is done legally or illegally.
“My heart goes out to them,” he said. “It is a tough situation maybe we need to raise our numbers up. I don’t know the answer.”
Congressman King said since being relieved from his committee roles he is having more time to meet with constituents, working with the Executive Branch and working on writing legislation.