Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has never been shy about discussing immigrants in the crudest, most vile terms possible. Back in 2006, for instance, in a discussion of a border fence, he talked up the benefits of electrifying it, because we "do that with livestock all the time."
As noted at Fox News Latino via Reason 24/7, he's up to old tricks, admitting that, sure, some immigrants—even illegal ones!—aren't born criminals. But "for every one who's a valedictorian, 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."
The original interview is with Newsmax and here's the longer passage:
"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," King tells Newsmax. "Those people would be legalized with the same act."
He also goes on to argue
"There isn't anyone that can fairly characterize me as anti-immigrant," the Iowa Republican tells Newsmax. "That's a label that the open-borders people have tossed around. They're conflating the terms anti-illegal immigrant and anti-immigrant as if it were the terms healthcare and health insurance."
Hmm, so how many legal immigrants does he want then? Curiously, he doesn't talk so much about creating new venues for legal immigration. He has managed to rack up 100 percent ratings from anti-immigration (legal and illegal) groups FAIR and USBC, got an A+ rating from another closed-borders group ALI, and has pushed legislation making English the official language of the United States and ending birthright citizenship.
He's also insisted, "My comments are anything but ignorant. They may have been the best informed in the entire United States Congress."
I think there are many legitimate reasons to be against the comprehensive immigration reform bill kicking around the Senate these days. But it is not worth having discussions with elected officials who talk about immigrants the way that King does.
To call him a moron is really an insult to morons and simpletons everywhere. Some of them can't help themselves—they were just born dumb. I suspect that King doesn't want to help himself. Are you really supposed to take a congressman seriously who makes such wild and erroneous claims about criminality among illegals and also makes bizarre physiognomic comments? I don't think so.
Not that the facts seem to matter much in discussions of immigration, but if you're interested, pick up a copy of Humane and Pro-Growth: A Reason Guide to Immigration Reform. It's full of our best coverage over the past few years and shows how open borders greatly benefit all of us.
Watch the recent interview with Grover Norquist we just posted today for a refreshing alternative perspective. And watch this great talk about immigration policy and history by the Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley. It's from a 2009 Reason conference.