Watch this "dreamer" confront far-right congressman Steve King

The Iowa congressman argued with a young immigration reform activist -- and it got heated

Published August 5, 2014 1:58PM (EDT)

Rep.  Steve King speaks with activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas   (Screen shot, YouTube)
Rep. Steve King speaks with activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas (Screen shot, YouTube)

A new video showing two activist "dreamers" confronting Iowa congressman Steve King and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has hit the Web, and it brings with it two revelations:

1. Even when he's trying to be approachable and civil, the utterly xenophobic Steve King can be patronizing and obtuse.

2. Rand Paul really, really, really doesn't want to explain his stance on immigration reform unless he absolutely must.

In the video, two activists who are identified as Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas approach King and Paul while they're eating lunch at a fundraiser. Andiola takes the lead, walking up to the table and introducing herself to King.

She tells King she is a dreamer — an undocumented immigrant who grew up in America but was brought to the country illegally at a young age — and asks him why he wants to see her and others like her deported. She offers him her papers and tells him to rip them up, since he so badly wants to see her go.

It's at this point, right when Andiola says she herself is a dreamer, that Rand Paul suddenly decides he's done with his barely half-finished burger and swiftly departs from the scene. Neither Andiola nor her partner, Vargas, nor King himself notice the likely future presidential candidate's stealthy retreat.

And that's a shame, too, because it means Paul missed out on witnessing King perform a master class of old-fashioned retail politics, charming Andiola by responding to her question — "I just don't understand why you've been wanting to [deport dreamers]" — by graciously telling her that she, a woman raised in the United States, is "very good at English."

Check out the video below to see Steve King be Steve King while Rand Paul runs for political cover:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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