Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said Pope Francis’ call to welcome immigrants to the country with open arms in his address to Congress on Thursday shows the Catholic leader doesn’t understand the necessity of national borders or the idea of nation states.
“One thing the Catholic Church seems to miss is the importance of the nation-state, of sovereignty, and if you’re going to protect the rule of law, you have to have borders and have to have the nation state,” King said in an interview with CNN after the Pope’s speech.
Vatican City is a sovereign state.
King, who is Catholic, also said that opening up U.S. borders “eventually would sink the lifeboat that is America.”
The Iowa Republican was responding to a question about the Pope evoking the Golden Rule in urging lawmakers to welcome immigrants to the country.
King went on to praise the speech, calling it “balanced, respectful, and appreciative,” traits he said an uncharacteristically attentive Congress echoed.