Immigration reform needs to be reconsidered in the wake of the Boston bombings, according to Rep. Steve King (R, Iowa), who sees the lessons from the radicalization of the bombing suspects as another reason to oppose the legislation introduced by the so-called bipartisan "Gang of Eight" in the Senate.
"We need to take a good look at the more open doors that we have -- student visas, tourist visas, as well as those who come across the border illegally," King said in an exclusive interview with TheBlaze senior contributor Mallory Factor. "We have thousands of people in this country we don't know are here, in fact millions, and some of them are here to do us harm."
Media attention was stunted at first for the much anticipated "Gang of Eight" immigration reform plan, as the bill was released the day after a terrorist attack in Boston killed three and injured hundreds. As the initial shock from the attack has subsided, more detailed investigation into both the bombing suspects and the immigration reform bill has raised questions if a better immigration system could have kept these future terrorists from entering the U.S., and if the "Gang of Eight" plan would make us safer or more vulnerable.
King said that once it was clear that the Boston Marathon bombing was a terrorist attack, it's hard to not look at the bombers like the 9/11 hijackers, and ask how they got into our country, who let them in, who comes here, and where do they train around the world to come and kill us. Why does King think we have difficulty asking these questions and stopping the likes of the Tsarnaev brothers from entering and radicalizing within our own borders?
"We are completely muzzled and in a straight jacket under political correctness," King said. the Congressman argues that government officials in this country face challenges when trying to ask these tough questions because the left in this country has "taken the idea that discrimination is always wrong. They don't understand that sometimes you discriminate in favor of good things and against bad things."
King told TheBlaze that he is drafting a "Religious Reciprocity Bill," that would enforce rules where if religious workers are allowed to enter the U.S., American religious workers must be allowed equal access to the guest's country. Getting this bill to the floor and a vote though requires support from a Republican-controlled leadership that has been at times intimidated to take on tough issues out of fear of being labeled prejudice in some way by the left, said King.
King told TheBlaze that there is a thread of conservatism in every Republican and we have to decide what our priorities are, "but we have to be willing to also take on this administration, which is a PC administration that has divided people down the lines of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender and sexual orientation."
"Leadership by definition always wants to avoid anyone rocking the boat," King added.
King points to the debt ceiling debate once again coming up this May, where leadership and Republicans as a whole need to be willing to face the president down over a potential government shutdown. King said that if Republicans had been bold enough to face the president on this in 2010, Barack Obama may not be president today.
In full interview from TheBlaze New York City newsroom posted at the bottom of this story, King also addressed developments related to the Pigford Farms case and if there will be real any public hearings on the Benghazi attack.
"I don't think we will get to the bottom of Benghazi unless we have a joint committee that is selected for the purposes of having public hearings, with people under oath, that could put this all into record that could build a report like the 9/11 commission did," King said. Otherwise we will never get to truth on Benghazi, the congressman added.
There has been much speculation about King running in 2014 to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate. King told TheBlaze Monday that polling he has looked at finds an uphill battle ahead for any Republican in the race, but he is still on the bubble of a decision on whether or not to run. King told TheBlaze that determining how to raise the $15 to 25 million necessary to compete in the race is weighing into decision.
Watch Congressman King's full interview with TheBlaze below: