How do Republicans usually react when confronted by DREAMers?

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) aren't the first Republicans to be confronted by DREAMers. Paul certainly wasn't the first senator to run away when met by those who remind them of how their immigration views might be a liability later, even if they feel like the safest position to take right now.

Here's a snapshot of how other Republican leaders have responded to protesting DREAMers. In the end, it seems impossible that any confrontation between those who would like a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and those who consider that to be amnesty could ever go over well — even when both sides air their grievances respectfully. And for the many people below who have presidential ambitions for 2016 this is only going to get harder.


(Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)

Walking away

Lately popularized by Sen. Rand Paul. Whether he was running away because of the DREAMers or because he was afraid of the national media finding out about his shirt remains unclear.


Courtesy of Matt Hildreth, America's Voice

In March, DREAMer moms found Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) at Pete's Diner on Capitol Hill. When they asked him about his position on deporting DREAMers, he said, "that's not very nice" and walked out.

Respectfully disagreeing

However, most politicians choose to speak with the DREAMers, aware that the optics of running away from children aren't the best, even if that means disagreeing with children. If you have to face those who disagree with you, they must be thinking, at least I can give the base footage to keep them happy.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) told DREAMers in 2013 that he thought a path to citizenship was "unfair."

Cruz spoke with them for about four minutes and mentioned that he had been to the border.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told DREAMers outside a fundraiser in New York in 2012 that he would veto the DREAM Act.

He did compliment the protester he was speaking to on her 4.0 grade point average, though.

In 2010, DREAMers found Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who has been one of the major opponents of the Senate's recent emergency funding bill for the border, in a hallway. Sessions said he did not support the DREAM Act because he thought it would bring more undocumented children to the country.

Being impressed that the DREAMers speak English

However, if you are going to explain your position to DREAMers, even if you disagree with them, do not compliment them on their flawless English. This is what Rep. Steve King did.

He told Erika Andiola, the DREAMer trying to convince him to change his views on Obama's "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" policy: "You're very good at English. You can understand the English language, so don't play with it."

In 2013, 30 DREAMers protested at King's office but did not meet with the representative.

Blame everyone else

When mothers of DREAMers found Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in a hallway on Capitol Hill,  they asked him many questions about immigration policy for undocumented immigrants that he clearly did not want to deal with right then. Though he was mostly patient, he listened to them for a few minutes before saying he had to dash off to a meeting and telling them the media was misinforming them about his position on immigration.

Last year, Boehner was far more congenial when DREAMers found him at Pete's Diner (if you have a question for Boehner, you should probably just go to Pete's Diner). He told them he was trying to pass immigration reform, but, you know, Congress!

A year later, DREAMers moms also found him at Pete's Diner.

 

Jaime Fuller reports on national politics for "The Fix" and Post Politics. She worked previously as an associate editor at the American Prospect, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C.
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