Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has made no secret in the past of his opposition to undocumented immigrants. But statements the lawmaker made recently are over the top even by his standards.
King claimed during an interview with Newsmax last week that the majority of young, undocumented immigrants in America -- commonly referred to as Dreamers -- are actively engaged in the drug trade.
"For everyone who's a valedictorian," King claimed, "there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act."
The House passed an amendment proposed by King last month to reverse an Obama administration policy of delaying deportation for Dreamers. A group of Dreamers subsequently visited King's office to demand answers.
The House subcommittee on immigration, of which King is a member, is holding a hearing on Tuesday to discuss the topics of Dreamers. Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are currently drafting a bill that would offer limited relief for the class of undocumented immigrants, which King does not support.
(H/T Talking Points Memo)
UPDATE: Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) slammed King's comments during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday afternoon (via TPM):
In my district, I have multiple schools, who on a regular basis produce valedictorians and they are undocumented. However, when members of this house use language such as "for every one that is a valedictorian, there are another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and have calves the size of cantaloupes because they've been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert," it is offensive.