Immigration, A Hot Topic at Rep. Steve King's Town Hall

Published 08/12 2014 06:23PM

Updated 08/12 2014 06:40PM

U.S. Representative Steve King held a Town Hall on Monday in Ames, and immigration was a hot topic. 

The stop is one of many the congressman is making in his re-election campaign to serve Iowa's 4th district for a seventh term. The congressman outlined important campaign topics such as foreign policy, veterans affairs and of course immigration.

The congressman is receiving a lot of criticism after a tense conversation with two dreamers last week was captured on camera and went viral.

Several immigration activists and dreamers showed up to the meeting today with questions and comments ready. 

Dreamer, Eren Sanchez, said her life took a tremendous turn after she received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. DACA provided Sanchez, originally from Mexico, with temporary legal status.  

"You know you walk with a sense of security, knowing that you can't be picked up," Sanchez said.

The program created by President Obama's executive order in 2012 has given Sanchez endless opportunities, allowing her to get a driver's permit, a part-time job and attend Drake University this coming January.

"It has given us a platform to achieve our dreams," Sanchez said.

Representative Steve King has other ideas about the program. He recently voted for a bill that would end it.

"What they're really saying is do not apply the law if it's inconvienent for me," King said. 

That's why Sanchez attended King's town hall meeting today in Ames, to tell him about her experience. 

"Today coming here, telling him it's not like that. I think he should listen to a lot of the stories, and get to know the people and a lot of the kids," Sanchez said.

Members from the audience prompted the congressman with tough questions on the topic of immigration and DACA, but he stood firm behind his views.

"The law doesn't work that way, it is impersonal. We are a nation of laws, not of men. We've known that for over two centuries. If we get away from that, we will no longer be one of the leading nations in the world," King said.

Joa LaVille, a librarian from Marshalltown said she came to the meeting today because immigration impacts her personally.

"I wanted him to know that for me, and most of the people in my community, immigration issues are about our friends and our families and our community," LaVille said.

Representative Steve King has several more town hall meetings scheduled on Wednesday in Northern Iowa. 

A group of faith leaders will be holding a community conversation about immigration on Thursday, September 18 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Ames. 

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