Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told an audience in Iowa late last week that many of the illegal immigrants being detained at the southern U.S. border are enjoying better living conditions than U.S. soldiers who are deployed overseas.
"I've never seen poorer conditions than those of our military," King said according to the New Hampton Chickasaw County Tribune. "When our military is deployed they are in tent city for a year or more. I didn't see any of our illegal aliens living in tents."
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says illegal immigrants being detained on the border are living better than deployed members of the U.S. military. Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images
King is one of the more vocal advocates of quickly deporting the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been detained this year, as well as the large number of adults that have flooded the border over the last year. King and other members say failure to deport them will only attract more and add to the humanitarian crisis that has been growing in Texas over the last six months.
While the Obama administration has pushed for billions more in funding to handle the flow of immigrants, House Republicans have agreed to provide just a few hundred million to speed up the deportation process. Senate Democrats opposed that bill, and Congress left for its August break without passing any legislation to deal with the border.
In the meantime, King said the U.S. has spent money to convert unused space into temporary living quarters for immigrants. He said an unused warehouse in McAllen, Texas provides air conditioning, beds, hot water, food and room for recreation.
The Department of Homeland Security has taken money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies in order to maintain current border operations.
At the end of July, DHS said it had detained about 63,000 immigrant children. Some U.S. officials have predicted as many as 90,000 children will be detained by the end of the fiscal year, on September 30.