June 13, 2013 -- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a conservative firebrand, isn't down with his party's "rebranding" efforts. He made that clear again on Thursday, amid a Capitol Hill showdown over immigration... in his own office.
In response, United We Dream, an undocumented youth activist group, organized a protest at the Iowa congressman's office this morning. Two dozen or so demonstrators showed up at King's office to voice their displeasure with him, organizers said. They arrived wearing caps and gowns (photo here) to reinforce their message that they want to pursue higher education and careers in the U.S.
But the real story quickly became about how King framed the protest on Twitter: "20 brazen self professed illegal aliens have just invaded my DC office. Obama's lawless order gives them de facto immunity from U.S. law," King tweeted, referring derisively to the deferred action program, which Obama authorized last June.
He followed up 40 minutes later with a jab at the authors of the bipartisan Senate immigration bill.
"#Gof8 You promise border security. How, when we can't secure Congress from Obama amnesty? Schumer, McCain, come guard my door," he tweeted.
Julieta Garibay, a legislative associate with United We Dream who participated in the protest, said the activists had asked to meet with King, but his staff turned down that request. Instead, she said, demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance in front of King's staffers and offered personal accounts of how their immigration status had affected their educational and career goals.
"We wanted to tell the congressman we are watching him, and we won't let him kill our dreams," Garibay told Fusion.
In the middle of the protest, Capitol Police were called to King's office in the Rayburn House Office Building. The demonstrators were peaceably escorted out by officers, Garibay said. Capitol Police spokesperson Shennell Antrobus could not immediately confirm whether police were called to King's office.
King's office did not respond to a request for comment.