WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after Iowa Congressman and close Trump ally Steve King used Twitter over the weekend to claim, “We can’t restore our civilization with someone else’s babies.” The tweet, intended in support of extremist Dutch politician Geert Vilders, has been widely rebuked since it was posted. On Monday morning, King doubled down on the sentiments in the tweet, stating live on CNN that he “meant exactly what I said.”
“Steve King’s tweet, and his subsequent defense of the bigotry it promoted, are wakeup calls for all Americans about the Republican Party’s true motivations in pursuing immigration reform,” Rep. Grijalva said. “King was an early supporter of Donald Trump; he is a trusted advisor of the president on immigration reform; to characterize these views as anything other than mainstream in today’s Republican leadership would be false. The deafening silence from each and every one of King’s GOP colleagues only further conveys their silent approval of the hate he’s spewing.
“The sad truth is that, among this crowd, immigration reform has very little to do with enforcement. For King and his ilk, this is about race and ethnicity. The GOP has exploited themes of bigotry and racism in their campaigns for years, and the fear they stirred up among their base played right into Trump’s hand last November. With each new policy proposal, and each glimpse into the GOP’s thought process, we see a concerted effort to create a European nation-state inside the United States. Deportations, restrictions on visa opportunities, and the broad targeting of immigrants, ethnic minorities and religious groups in this country, all serve the white nationalist cause that Rep. King and his allies have whole-heartedly embraced.
“There was a time when virulent racism was considered appalling fringe behavior by both parties – now it’s clearly become the driving narrative for Republican leadership under Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.”