Government

Steve King: Diversity not an American strength; 'mixing cultures' leads to lower quality life

Representative Steve King (R-IA) on the steps of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Representative Steve King (R-IA) on the steps of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

SIOUX CITY — Iowa 4th District Rep. Steve King on Friday twice declared that diversity is not an American strength and endorsed a European leader’s view that “mixing cultures” leads to a lower quality of life.

In a tweet, King linked to a Voice of Europe story that quoted Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban as saying, “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.“

King, a conservative Republican and leading critic of U.S. immigration policies, followed with a second tweet, “Assimilation has become a dirty word to the multiculturalist Left. Assimilation, not diversity, is our American strength.”

The social media posts were King’s latest take on the cultural shifts happening in Europe and how they intersect with U.S. culture.

King has long contended that immigrant groups are best served by blending in strongly, or assimilating, into American culture. It was a topic he raised again in March, during the time after he tweeted about culture again.

King drew widespread criticism after a March 12 tweet in which he said America “can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” The post was in support of a Dutch politician who opposes immigration and has spoken against Islam. King tweeted that Geert Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny.”

King followed the controversial tweet with several interviews on national outlets where he defended his comments.

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Critics accused King of racism and condemned the support the tweet received from some white nationalist leaders.

King also took to Twitter to address other immigration issues. In September, he blasted Republican President Donald Trump over reports of a potential immigration comprise with congressional Democrats.

King, who represents 39 counties in northwest and north central Iowa, was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002. One Republican, four Democrats and one Libertarian have announced plans to challenge him in the 2018 election.

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