Politics
8:30 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Democrat John Yarmuth Condemns GOP Congressman Calling Young Immigrants Drug Smugglers

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Congress

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is condemning comments by Republican Steve King, who said the majority of undocumented immigrants's children are drug runners.

But Kentucky's Third District representative says those remarks don't reflect the views of most GOP lawmakers and shouldn't impede bipartisan efforts to overhaul the U.S. immigration system.

Almost two weeks ago King told Newsmax that for every immigrant child who is a valedictorian there are 100 hauling illegal drugs across the U.S.-Mexicon border.

The Iowa congressman hasn't backpedaled either, adding that many who are smuggling narcotics fit the qualifications under DREAM Act as defined in the Senate immigration reform bill.

"I’d love to see him resign," says Yarmuth. "If he would take my suggestion I’d say resign. What he said was clearly way out of bounds and in horrible taste, and just reprehensibly ignorant."

Yarmuth is a member of the so-called Gang of 7 working on a comprehensive measure in the House. He says most Republican don't take King seriously, and reject his views.

House Speaker John Boehner did rebuke King's comments, calling them "wrong" and "hateful." And other conservatives in the GOP-controlled House such as Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho said they were "irresponsible and reprehensible."

As far as an immigration reform bill goes, Yarmuth told WFPL the measure hasn't stalled in the House despite promises it would be unveiled early July. The congressman now says the work group has decided to wait until September.

"One reason was we actually didn't want it to sit out there without proper introduction and rollout for five weeks of recess. And secondly, right now the Judiciary Committee is focused on piecemeal legislation dealing with various immigration issues and we didn't want to compete with those activities right now," he says. "I actually think the momentum is shifting dramatically toward getting something done and I anticipate we'll be moving some legislation before the end of the year."

There is vocal opposition on the right that the bill gives illegal immigrants amnesty before securing the border, but a new poll shows seven of ten conservatives accept a "path to citizenship" with conditions.

From CBS News:

A critical part of the GOP base, evangelical Christians, also support a path to citizenship (75 percent) taking cues from some of the community's leadership - which may further inoculate House members.

And a poll released last week by a Republican pro-reform group interviewed Republican primary voters specifically, and also found willingness to accept a path to citizenship, and not much fervor for opposition.

"A solid 65 percent majority of Republicans support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants if it is coupled with substantially increased border security," according to the poll by Americans for a Conservative Direction.

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