A video posted to YouTube shows two of President Obama's DREAMers, Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, attempt to entrap Rep. Steve King (R-IA) into tearing up Andiola's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) card. But what they got in return was a lesson in how to obey the law of the land in America -- the Constitution.
The confrontation happened at a fundraiser for King in Okoboji, Iowa and was captured on cell phone video. The fundraiser was hosted by Senator Rand Paul, who can be seen alongside King enjoying a sandwich at the beginning of the clip. Once Andiola and Vargas approach and introduce themselves as DREAMers, Paul hightails it out of there, leaving his lunch behind and King to fend for himself.
Immediately, Andiola's intent becomes clear: She is there to intentionally incite a confrontation by asking the congressman to rip up her DACA card because of his recent vote against the program. Blowing her chance at a viral video, King responded, "This is not what I do." She then tries to further escalate the scene by bringing up King's 2013 comments about illegals having "calves the size of cantaloupes." He defended those statements, saying he was referring to drug smugglers, not people like Andiola.
As the confrontation continued, King explained why the DREAMers, along with the president, are violating the Constitution and "import[ing] lawlessness into America."
The video is a must-watch, but below is a readable partial transcript minus the crosstalk:
Andiola: You're the one that's been trying to get rid of DACA and that's why for me, I've been fighting so much for DACA. I mean, pushing the president, and calling the president...
King: The president has no constitutional authority to do what he has done.
Andiola: He does.
[At this point, Vargus is introduced as a fellow DREAMer and attorney]
Vargus: I wanted to serve my country after 9/11 as an American -- even though I came here when I was five years old -- as an American. I tried to enlist in the military, they rejected me because I was undocumented.
King: Right, because the law says you have to be an American, or a Green Card, to join the military.
Vargus: But the point is, congressman, is that we are American.
King: So why don't you want to abide by our laws?
Vargus: Because there is no system which we can actually -- Congress had the opportunity -- DACA has given me the opportunity to give back to the country. I pay taxes congressman…
King: The president has violated the Constitution. He's eroded the rule of law and he's brought this about. And there are many people that are suffering because of this. This country should not be a country that's run by -- one king, Barack Obama, deciding what the laws should be. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. And the laws are written by the Congress, not by the president.
I don't want to build a country with people who have disrespect for the law.
Andiola: We don't have disrespect for the law. We're here like anyone else, listening to you, trying to be -- choose the country we love.
King: Then we might have an agreement but you've just told me that you're in violation of the law.
Andiola: We were brought here as children and our parents brought us here.
King: You had nothing to do with that, it wasn't your fault right?
Andiola: My mother actually ran away from violence in Mexico.
King: And where are your parents now?
Andiola: My mom is here and my dad is in Mexico.
King: But she's illegally here.
Andiola: She's actually applying and do you know how many years it's going to take her?
King: And so if you don't like the results of our law then you can just go ahead and violate them? That's what you're telling me.
Andiola: I'm trying to change this country for the better…
King: Abide by our laws so you get the credibility, then we can have a serious conversation.
Andiola: DACA, I fought so much for it, I've given it so much of my life…
King: It really saddens me that people who come in this country, whether their parents brought them or whether they came on their own, and they would violate American laws, commit the crime of unlawful entrance into the United States…[refuses to rip up Andiola's DACA card she is shoving towards him] I don't do individual policy, I do national policy for everyone. But it troubles me a great deal that you have such disrespect for the laws of the United States of America.
Vargas: This is my country, I love this country. I want to make sure that we fix this country.
King: But you're telling me that you don't have to abide by the laws of this country.
Andiola: We are abiding by the laws.
King: No you aren't, you've just told me you're not.
Andiola: We are trying very hard to be able to have a way in...
King: You told me your parents violated the law.
Andiola: They didn't violate the law.
King: Then why are you DACA? How can you be a DREAMer if your parents didn't violate the law? They didn't bring you here through no fault of your own?
Andiola: The Supreme Court said...
King: The Supreme Court did not say…
Andiola: Not yet…
King:…the only judge that has ruled on this is Judge Reed O'Connor of the Northern District of Texas who said that he believes that the case that challenges the president's DACA policy has every prospect of succeeding on the merits. That's the only decision that's there.
Vargas: We can debate the law, right, like any lawyers, we can debate the law…
King: But what do we need lawyers for to have disrespect for the Constitution of the United States?
Vargas: But we are Americans…What we are saying, congressman, is that we want to be able to serve our country. I want to be able to serve my country as a military man. You're always talking about veterans…
King: You want to enter into the military even though you're unlawfully present in the United States and the law says that you have to have a Green Card…
Vargas: Congressman, did you know that the first person who died in Iraq was undocumented? He didn't care whether he was a U.S. citizen, he didn't care whether he was from -- but he fought and died for this country.
King: He lied to get into the military, you know that? Will you admit that? Will you admit that he lied to get into the military?
Vargas: It doesn't matter, congressman...
Andiola: I think, you know, we just really want to make sure that we're going to be here in this country, we're going to be fighting really hard for our parents, we're going to be fighting real hard for our own lives, we're going to be succeeding in this country…
King: Did you come from a lawless country? Tell me this please…
Andiola: We hope that you find it in your heart to be able to stop attacking us…
King: I'm not attacking you. I've never done anything personal. I've always talked about the rule of law and the Constitution.
Andiola: You have been attacking us, sir. You've been calling us names. You're trying to get rid of our opportunities…
King: But I'm not going to answer this stuff. I'll just say this: Did you come from a lawless country?
Andiola: I came from a country that every time my mom would get beat up by my dad, every time that would happen…
King: Why didn't she call the police force?
[people begin shouting "Go home!"]
King: Listen, you came from a lawless country. Do not import lawlessness into America. You heard me talk about the rule of law. You heard me talk about the supreme law, the Constitution.
Andiola: I'm a psychologist, I've been able to help this country so much, my community. I've been able to do so much for my own community with my degree.
King: But there's no substance to what you said. You want to live in a country that respects the rule of the law or don't you?
Andiola: And I am working very hard to make sure that this is the best country…
King: But you told me that your parents violated the law and that you violated the law.
Andiola: My mom came to run away. I'd rather have my mom here in this country than dying in Mexico.
King: And we have a process to apply for asylum, she could have gone to the United States embassy in Mexico City…
Andiola: She applied. She got denied.
King: And so you decide that its okay then to violate the law?
Andiola: No, to run away from someone that was hurting me and hurting her.
King: 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.