While Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has taken a bipartisan beating the past week for saying that young illegal immigrants routinely smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Mexico, at least one Republican has jumped to his defense.
Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who ran a failed bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nominaiton, said King is the target of a “Republican lynch mob” for his criticisms of the “Dream Act,” a bill pushed by President Obama to provide conditional permanent residency to certain immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors.
“Rather than engage the important issues raised by Rep. King, House Speaker Boehner chose to characterize King’s remarks as ‘hateful.’ Can anyone recall Boehner reacting that way to the outrageous rhetoric used by Democrats promoting the amnesty bill?” said Tancredo in an article he penned for the conservative website WND.com.
“Such feigned outrage is designed to shut down debate, not elevate it.”
King, a vocal critical of immigration reform, told the conservative website Newsmax earlier this month that for every young illegal immigrant who becomes 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.”
King has refused to walk back his comments, definitely taking to the House floor Thursday to defend his comments, saying in a long speech that drug lords in Mexico are “recruiting kids to be drug smugglers.”
Boehner, R-Ohio, last week denounced King’s comments as “offensive and wrong” and said they don’t reflect the “values of the American people or the Republican Party.”
But Tancredo questioned why Republicans have been so quick condemn King’s criticisms of the Dream Act since most Republicans oppose it.
Tancredo added that while King words were “too aggressive,” his “substantive point is demonstrably true.”
“It is disgusting to see Republican leaders joining this lynch mob,” he said.