Republicans Rebuke Rep. Steve King for Outrageous Remarks about Immigrants

Washington, D.C. – As a Tea Party favorite, Rep. Steve King says some pretty outrageous things and his fellow Republicans usually let some of those comments slide, but King is now being rebuked by his fellow conservatives and Democrats alike after insinuating that some undocumented immigrants act as drug mules.

Rep. King’s incendiary remarks were made last week, but came up while the House was holding committee hearings over an immigration bill with the tentative title of the KIDS Act. The piece of legislation up for debate is somewhat similar to the DREAM Act which would allow undocumented immigrants the opportunity to apply for legal status.

The majority of Republicans in the House believe that allowing these young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally by their parents is the ethical thing to do, even though they reject the same opportunity for their parents.  However, conservative Iowa Rep. Steve King rejected the bill insisting these young immigrants are actually drug mules and shouldn’t be treated with any leniency.

In the interview with Newsmax, King said, “Some of them are valedictorians, and their parents brought them in. It wasn’t their fault. It’s true in some cases, but they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents.”

That’s  a fair enough statement because there are some young immigrants who crossed the border illegally as teens, but what he said next is wholly incorrect and completely absurd, especially since there is no way to confirm it as fact and just plays into ignorant stereotypes about immigrants from south of the border.

“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert, “ King told the conservative news agency. ““Those people would be legalized with the same act.”

He apparently missed the fact that many of these your people were brought here as children and were completely incapable of carrying pounds of marijuana over the border.

King has long criticized the immigration reform bill, telling Newsmax that “Congress has no obligation to resolve the issue of the 11 million to 33 million people who are here illegally.” He added that they could end their plight by returning to their country of origin.

It should be noted that his 33 million undocumented immigrants figure is ridiculously exaggerated and since immigration affects all Americans it is definitely an issue that needs to addressed.

Rep. King’s comments weren’t widely circulated at first, after all how many people actually consider Newsmax as a source of accurate news? But NBC Latino and Talking Points Memo picked up on the story and King was rebuked by fellow House members for the despicable comments.

In the House committee hearing Tuesday, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL.), who sat across from King, recited his comments back to him and said, “It is offensive. And it is beneath the dignity of this body,” The Washington Post reported. King, however had no comment and didn’t even try to justify his ill-informed statements

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R.-VA) also took issue with the comments and publically admonished King. “I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments inexcusable,” Cantor said, according to NBC News

House speaker John Boehner (R. – OH) called King’s characterization “hateful.”  And Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-SC) said the drug mules King was referring to are not sufficient enough in numbers to “derail” reform legislation.