New York Times
By Ashley Parker
July 23, 2013
An attempt on Tuesday by House Republicans to show that they were at least somewhat open to an overhaul of immigration laws was overshadowed by comments from Representative Steve King of Iowa, who said that some undocumented immigrants had “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
In an interview with Newsmax, a conservative Web site, last week, Mr. King expressed skepticism about proposals to provide a path to citizenship for people, often called “Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as young children.
He acknowledged that some Dreamers were valedictorians, then added: “But they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents.
“For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds, and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” Mr. King, an outspoken foe of an immigration overhaul, told Newsmax. “Those people would be legalized with the same act.”
Mr. King’s comments became an issue on Tuesday as the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss a possible path to citizenship for the Dreamers. Though many immigration advocates considered the hearing a first step by House Republicans toward reform involving at least some of the 11 million immigrants who are here illegally, the remarks by Mr. King again gave voice to the vocal contingent of conservatives who oppose any attempt at an overhaul.
In an e-mail on Tuesday, Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, a left-leaning advocacy group, called the comments “disgusting” and “deplorable.”
And Representative Joe Garcia, Democrat of Florida, used his opening remarks at the committee hearing to call Mr. King’s language “offensive.”
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