• With: Rep. Steve King

    VAN SUSTEREN: It wouldn't change your agenda but what you could do.

    KING: It makes a difference on the effectiveness, and it clearly does. And we're within a couple of hours of me learning what you've just said. But it doesn't change my agenda. I will -- I will continue to drive an agenda at least as in a aggressive fashion as I might have had I been chairman of the immigration subcommittee.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Iowa -- how does illegal immigration affect Iowa? You're a little bit of a distance from the border that creates a lot of the problems, the Mexican-U.S. border, but you're near Canada, somewhat -- at least a lot closer. How does illegal immigration affect your state?

    KING: It's not something that drives me politically so much because of the make-up of my district or the state. But I'm rooted in the rule of law. I grew up in a law enforcement family. I think the rule of law is an essential pillar of American exceptionalism.

    However, we do have meat food processing, meat packing industry, and a generation or less ago, they went to Mexico to recruit cheap labor. So I live halfway in between Dennison and Storm Lake. They're both meat packing towns. I was born in Storm Lake. I grew up in Dennison. I live halfway between. So I live this and I understand it. I understand how it affects the communities.

    But I'm really concerned about, if you grant amnesty to people -- and I've met people that got the amnesty in 1986. They think it's a good deal. They advocate it for anybody that can speak into America. Once you grant them amnesty, you have undermined the rule of law and you've created a magnet to bring more people into the United States.

    The anchor baby issue is a magnet for the parents to come in, and amnesty is a magnet to -- for more illegal people to come in. So first, we need to stop the bleeding at the border, and then we need to shut off the jobs magnet and every other magnet in America. And most of this won't require a heavy-handed enforcement. It just requires us to enforce current laws where they are.

    VAN SUSTEREN: And you may get the opportunity to do more because now your party is in the leadership here in the House of Representatives. So this whole illegal immigration -- you guys are in the driver's seat, at least on the House side.

    KING: Well, we are, and we do need to drive some policy. And there's a piece of policy that I have advocated here for several years that I think'll have the most impact on immigration. And it's called the New Idea Act. (INAUDIBLE) many new ideas in this Congress, but I had enough audacity to name it the New Idea Act, and...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Good name!

    KING: Yes, I think so.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know what it is, but the name sounds good!

    KING: Well, it stands for the Illegal Deduction Elimination Act. And what it does, it brings the IRS into the enforcement and it denies wages and benefits paid to illegals as a tax-deductible item, as a business expense. So it goes over...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Does that mean you're going to go after more corporations? I mean, one of the -- one of the -- one of the -- one of the things people say is that corporations don't want to do anything about illegal immigration because they have their cheap labor, or they look the other way when they get a false Social Security number.

    KING: There's truth to that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Are you -- do you want to aggressively go after the corporations that are part of the system of hiring illegal immigrants?

    KING: I think if my bill passes, the New Idea Act passes, I don't think we need to aggressively go after the corporations. We just let the IRS do their normal audit practices that they're doing today. They would run the Social Security numbers of the employees through e-verify. We'd give the employer safe harbor if they use e-verify. But the IRS then can deny the deductibility. That turns your $10-an-hour illegal into $16-an- hour illegal by the time the interest, the penalty and the taxes are paid. An employer can make a rational decision on whether they want to clean up their workforce or they want to accumulate a potential tax liability.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Why not put teeth in it, put criminal penalty into it?

    KING: Well...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Let them face jail. I mean, what you've laid out is a civil penalty, and some corporations may think it's better to roll the dice and get a civil penalty than to not hire illegals. But if you put a criminal penalty into it, it might put more teeth into the legislation.

    KING: It would put more teeth into it, and then we'd have to rely upon the executive branch, the Department of Homeland Security to enforce it. I think the IRS does a good job of enforcing. They seem to...

    (CROSSTALK)

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... you do both. You do both.

    KING: We could do both. But there's something else that adds more teeth to that, and that's a six-year statute of limitations. And so an employer can think of one year of exposure and maybe not have an audit, or two or three. But while that's going on, their liability accumulates year by year. So if you had paid a million dollars out to illegals in a year and perhaps you're looking at as much as a $500,000 interest penalty and tax liability if audited, then after that goes over six years, that becomes $3 million. I'm going to want to clean up my workforce before then and hold my breath that the IRS didn't show up before the limitations expires.

    (END VIDEOTAPE)