With New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner continuing to pursue his interest in photography, one may be inclined to think that public outrage over politics would be focused solely on Weiner’s alter ego, Carlos Danger. However, Representative Steve King of Iowa has managed to grab some of the spotlight for himself by offering his opinion on Dreamers, young children brought to the United States illegally by their parents. In an interview, Congressman King described the Dreamer population: “For everyone 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 implication that the majority of Dreamers are drug runners is blatantly discriminatory and racist. While offensive, the most shocking aspect of King’s remark is the fact that he is a Representative in the United States Congress. What kind of example are we setting for Americans if our elected officials openly proclaim such ignorant and offensive statements? Our elected representatives should be held to a higher standard and show respect for all their constituents, regardless of ethnic background.
In terms of immigration reform, King’s remarks not only show his ignorance in general, but also his ignorance of the issue itself. While King has been openly critical of the bipartisan, comprehensive, immigration bill from the Senate, his own constituents seem to see the issue differently. Paired with border security, background checks, paid back taxes, and no federal benefits, 79% of King’s district supports a pathway to citizenship.
Congressman King’s comments and opposition to comprehensive immigration reform are clearly out of touch with his constituents. What exactly is King being paid to do? His job description surely does not include embarrassing fellow Republicans, isolating Hispanic voters with racist comments, or ignoring his constituents’ views on vital issues to American politics. King’s constituents should be enraged at how their district is being portrayed on the national stage thanks to King’s negative comments on immigration.
If Congressman King does not change his approach to immigration, citizens in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional district should vote for someone who is capable of representing their views. After all, there is really no use for a Representative who does not represent. In the meantime, perhaps Congressman King has found a solution to America’s obesity problem – strap on seventy five pounds and start running.