King defends immigration enforcement, detention centers at Parkersburg town hall

Congressman Steve King played the hits last Tuesday during a town hall meeting at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Parkersburg, echoing familiar refrains on illegal immigration and abortion that have come to define him as one of the most polarizing figures in modern American politics.

After citing a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statistic regarding the apprehension of 4,117 border crossers in a single day earlier this year, King floated a version of the “Great Replacement” theory and surmised that in only 24 weeks, undocumented immigrants could supplant the population of an entire congressional district. During a conversation after the meeting, he told an attendee that he believed liberal billionaire George Soros played at least some role in financing migrants attempting to enter the U.S.

He also defended the President’s push to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census, arguing that including individuals who are in the country illegally skews representation in favor of states like California and dilutes the vote of citizens.

A group of nine protesters greeted King prior to the event, and one of them—local Democratic activist David Mansheim—wore a full chicken suit while holding a sign that read “King doesn’t give a cluck” about young migrants held in border detention facilities. Inside, it didn’t take long for members of the audience to challenge the Fourth District representative on some of his most controversial opinions and his steadfast support for President Donald Trump.

Tristan Easton, who graduated from A-P High School in May, called the centers “concentration camps”— a term that conservatives have largely dismissed and deemed offensive to Holocaust survivors and victims—before asking the Congressman whether his pro-life values extended to those children.

“They came on their own, and they’re free to leave. So they’re really not concentration camps,” King said. “All they have to do is say ‘I want to go back to the country where I came from,’ and they’ll get a ride. And they’ll pack their lunch for them… We can rationalize (attempts to cross the southern border), but the policies that are being advocated by the Democrats are complete open borders.”

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