Is it just me? Am I the only republican in Iowa besides, Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson who thinks Steve King’s recent comments on immigration were out of line? Maybe it is because I am a brown-Hispanic, but I think Congressman Steve King’s recent comments on the Dream Act were unnecessary and inappropriate. They lacked the level of civility and decorum that I expect from my guys in Congress. I heard the congressman defend his statements on the Jan Mickelson and Simon Conway shows on WHO radio yesterday. I heard the entire interview from Newsmax and I still think the congressman was out of line. King was speaking about the so-called Dream Act and the Gang of Eight immigration bill.
Let me start by saying, I agree with King. I oppose the Dream Act and I oppose the Gang of Eight immigration bill. I strongly oppose any Path to Citizenship for anyone, who at any time under any circumstances entered the United States illegally. My problem with the Congressman is not with his votes or his position on immigration, my problem is with what he said, and the way he said it.
Here is an excerpt from what Congressman 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. …
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 … Those people would be legalized with the same act
I know that the Congressman has been on the border and spoken to the Border Patrol but where did his numbers come from. I agree that not every youngster brought into this country illegally is a valedictorian. In fact only a very small number of children born and raised in this country grow up to be valedictorians (unless they attend Cedar Rapids Washington High School which graduated 67 valedictorians in 2011!) But is the ratio of valedictorians to drug mules really 1:100? And if so, how does the congressman know? Further the depiction of illegal immigrants as being 130 pounds … with calves the size of cantaloupes is bordering on racist. (To be fair, many of King’s critics have also used loaded terminology to describe the resident’s of King’s western Iowa congressional district.)
Regular readers of this blog know that I am not a very politically correct person. In fact I will sometimes write or say something outrageous for effect. However, whenever I do so, I do it knowing that I am deliberately violating some societal norm. Listening to Congressman King defend his statements, I am not sure that he understands why they were objectionable. Rather than apologizing, or saying (like Rush Limbaugh) that he was being absurd to illustrate absurdity — King doubled down and said his critics did not listen to the entire interview.
I listened to the entire interview, and as an Iowa Republican, I expect better.