What happens when you put Rep. Steve King, Sen. Rand Paul and two beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in the same restaurant? Within seconds Paul will leave, and in under a minute King will compliment someone's English.
At 0:03 Paul, who's in Iowa doing what 2016 contenders do, and King, an Iowa representative, meet Erica Andiola and Cesar Vargas. Everything is fine, they shake hands.
Between 0:10 and 0:22, Andiola tells King she's a DREAMer — a beneficiary of DACA — who is originally from Mexico but just graduated from Arizona State University. At this point alarm bells and red flags go off for Paul's aid, who loudly scrapes back his chair and pulls his boss away from his burger.
According to the National Journal, the aide was Sergio Gor, who emailed the Journal later to clarify that Paul didn't run away, he just had somewhere else he needed to be at that exact moment. "Senator Paul had a media avail after the event and that's where we had to be," Gor wrote. "CNN, BuzzFeed,Wall Street Journal and several local outlets attended the media avail."
At 0:26, Andiola says "I know you want to get rid of DACA, so I want to give you the opportunity 'cause you really want to get rid of it, just rip mine," and hands King her identification card.
Under the program children who were brought into the country illegally as children, like Andiola, are able to apply for an exemption from deportations every two years. Recipients, DREAMers, are eligible to work in the U.S. President Obama is considering expanding the program to more people, possibly even people like Andiola's mother. House Republicans, including King, voted for Friday's border crisis bill that would end DACA.
Things go from awkward to bad in under a minute. Andiola calls King out on his infamous "cantaloupe calves" immigrant comment at 0:50 and King grabs her hand.
"You're very good at English," King says. "You know what I'm saying"
"I was raised in the United States," she replies.
"Right, so you understand the English language, so don't act like you don't." He says he was only referring to drug smugglers with giant calves, then asks if she's a drug smuggler. "Do I look like a drug smuggler?" she replies.
4:33 King says, "It troubles me a great deal that you have such disrespect for the laws of the United States."
6:30 Someone in the background shouts "Go home, you need to go home."
7:17 After listening to Andiola describe her mother's situation, King ends with, "I'm really sorry that you come from a lawless country. I hope that you can have a happy life. But please do not erode the rule of law in America."
Andiola tells him that she'll bring back her DACA card if he wants to rip it up. "That would be a nice video to offer you, but it's not going to happen," King replies.
Watch the full video below:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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