Congressman Steve King

Representing the 4th District of Iowa


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Experts Agree With King: To Combat Opioids, End Sanctuary City Policies

Feb 15, 2018
Press Release

Sanctuary Cities serve as the modern analogue to the canyons that protected

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s criminal “Hole in the Wall Gang”

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Steve King released the following video of his questioning of witnesses during today’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security  hearing on the topic of “The Effect of Sanctuary City Policies on the Ability to Combat the Opioid Epidemic.” The witnesses agreed with King’s analogy that Sanctuary Cities, which adopt policies that provide shelter for illegal aliens by refusing to allow local law enforcement to cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies, serve as the modern analogue to the canyons that once provided shelter to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s criminal “Hole in the Wall Gang.” The witnesses also provided King with sobering testimony about the extent to which America’s drug crisis is accelerated by illegal immigration, asserting not only that 80-90% of the illegal drugs consumed within the United States are “processed and imported by way of Mexico,” but also that “it is definitely true” that at least one link in every illegal drug distribution chain goes through an illegal alien.


To view the entirety of Congressman King’s exchange with the witnesses: click here.


The witnesses at today’s hearing included:

•             Detective Nick Rogers, President, Denver Police Protective Association

•             The Honorable A.J. Louderback, Sheriff, Jackson County, Texas Sheriff’s Office

•             Ms. Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies

•             Professor Keith Humphreys, Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine


Excerpts from King’s Exchange (1:25- 4:10)

King: Just an observation as I’m listening to this testimony about Sanctuary Cities. It makes me think of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the “Hole in the Wall Gang” where the criminals all went into that place in the canyon where there was a narrow notch that they could guard and they lived in there happily ever after, protecting themselves and each other from the impact of law enforcement. I would ask Sheriff Louderback, do you see any similarities in that with regard to our Sanctuary jurisdictions across this country? Have they become something similar to the “Hole in the Wall Gang”?

Sheriff Louderback: Respectfully, sir, that’s a very good analogy.

King: Thank you. I appreciate your testimony about the cooperation required between every level of law enforcement. I grew up in a law enforcement family, and I watched as every level of law enforcement reached out and helped each other wherever they had a skill set or a knowledge base. They shared information and they worked together. Can you name another subject of law enforcement anywhere, currently or in the history of this country, where there has been a carve-out where local law enforcement declared they wouldn’t cooperate with any other level of law enforcement?

Sheriff Louderback: Not that I’m aware of.

King: Detective Rodgers, are you aware of any other circumstance similar to this with regard to immigration law?

Detective Rodgers: No sir.

King: I turn back to Ms. Vaughn, because I remember you said the numbers “80 to 90 percent” and I just missed the definition of what that was and I didn’t see it in your written testimony.

Ms. Vaughn: Of the opioids that are distributed in our communities according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. I think it is important to emphasize that this distribution is carried out by people, and many of those people are in this country without authorization and those people are the subject of ICE and local law enforcement agencies and that’s how they disrupt the trafficking of these deadly drugs and that’s what keeps them off the streets.

King: That’s why that number rang my bell, because probably as far back as ten years ago I sat down with DEA and they said to me that day that 80 to 90 percent of the illegal drugs consumed in America come from or through Mexico.

Ms. Vaughn: That’s right. Now it might originate in China, but it’s processed and imported by way of Mexico.

King: Another statement that they made was “in every illegal drug distribution chain in this country, at least one link goes through an illegal alien.” Would that be consistent with what you know, Ms. Vaughn?

Ms. Vaughn: I am not familiar with that, but it is definitely true in certain parts of the country, especially New England, that is certainly true.

King: I turn to Sheriff Louderback, is that contrary to any of your knowledge, Sherriff?

Sheriff Louderback: No. I think that’s accurate.

King: And Detective Rodgers?

Detective Rodgers: Yes.

Additional Background:

Congressman King recently joined President Trump to participate in a White House signing ceremony for HR 2142, legislation designed to combat the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic by increasing border security efforts.

For those who have been affected by opioid abuse, or who know people that are struggling with opioid addiction, Congressman King would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that the Iowa Department of Health has created an online tool that can be used to identify locations within the 4th Congressional District that can provide help. The tool is accessible at this link.


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