July 25, 2013
King made the remark in an interview with Newsmax to explain why he opposes the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented children of immigrants who entered the country illegally with their immigrant parents when they were children. Leaders of his party support granting a pathway to citizenship for this group.
King's ignorant and factless remarks were condemned by The White House, immigration advocates, and members of his own party. Several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus also denounced his remarks.
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) said, "My parents brought me to this country at the age of 11.They brought me here for the freedom. They brought me here for the opportunities, and they never told me to strap 75 pounds of marijuana on my thighs so we can sell it in America."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OHIO) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) joined those who criticized King. Boehner said the remarks were "wrong", while Cantor said called them "inexcusable."
King is the Republican lawmaker that introduced the legislation to stop the Obama policy that deferred deportation for some of the young undocumented aliens. That legislation passed the House in June.
As a member of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, he has repeatedly called a pathway to citizenship "amnesty".
Instead of retracting his comments King defended them . The Hill quoted the congressman:
“It’s not something that I’m making up. This is real,” King said. “We have people that are mules, that are drug mules, that are hauling drugs across the border, and you can tell by their physical characteristics what they’ve been doing for months, going through the desert with 75 pounds of drugs on their back, and if those who advocate for the Dream Act, if they choose to characterize this about valedictorians, I gave them a different image that we need to be thinking about because we just simply can’t be passing legislation looking only at one component of what would be millions of people.”Another radical Republican, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), defended KIng saying:
“What he sees is that, by allowing a fake, backdoor amnesty to the, quote, children of illegal aliens, we’re looking at what is probably the largest subset of illegal aliens in the United States. This is just a backdoor form for allowing amnesty to illegal aliens. That’s all this is. So I stand with him on that effort.”Those who oppose a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented aliens, and even certain groups of legal aliens in the CNMI, often stereotype, employ character assassination or claim that by granting a pathway to citizenship to some, something will somehow be taken away from U.S. citizens.
As an example, Ana Teregeyo, President of the Northern Marianas Descent Corp., held a press conference this week to express opposition to the CNMI's legal, long-term nonresidents receiving a path to permanent residency status as provided in the recently passed Senate immigration bill. Among her baseless remarks were these:
"Section 2109 of the bill will alter and disrupt the social, political, and economic livelihood and aspirations of the indigenous peoples of the Northern Marianas who are of Northern Marianas descent.”
. . ."children and future generations would not have the opportunity they are enjoying right now if the bill becomes law."A recent letter to the editor published in the Marianas Variety, in which CNMI small business owners were all negatively lumped together to be categorized in a bad light, further illustrates how stereotyping is used to unjustly attack an entire group:
"Non-U.S. visa businesses operating in our commonwealth are problematic. After years of debate and multiple comment periods, brilliantly crafted regulations for the CNRA addressed these issues in the best interests of local citizens by requiring U.S. visas by 2014 with no possible extensions. These questionable businesses are the source of CNMI labor abuse, originate human trafficking and exploitation, pay little in tax revenue, made baby tourism a CNMI industry, distribute the ice, operate the Saipan sex trade industry, may be fugitives at home, don’t know or follow U.S. labor laws, are constantly guilty of guest worker non-payment, and SELDOM EMPLOY U.S. CITIZENS."Exaggerations, stereotypical remarks, biased generalizations, and attack statements that lack substance and cannot be backed by data or facts confuse the issues and unjustly harm innocent people. They create obstacles and unnecessary delays in reaching resolutions. They add smoke to already heated discussions to further blur the truth. It is up to responsible peeple to publicly oppose such baseless attacks.