Rep. Steve King has been known to make, from time to time, some controversial remarks about immigration — and his floor speech on Friday was no exception.
Speaking to a nearly empty chamber, the Iowa Republican said the result of an immigration overhaul would be more dead Americans.
"Because there's not a day that goes by in this country that there isn't at least one American citizen that dies at the hands of someone who's unlawfully present in the United States, whether it is an act of homicide or it's an act of willful manslaughter, whether it's an [Operating While Intoxicated] in the streets of America, hardly anybody has gone through the last 10 years and doesn't at least show that up in their local newspaper, if it doesn't show up in their neighborhood. And so Steve King's not dead wrong. Let's keep more Americans alive."
The statement was nothing new for King. He made similar remarks to an Omaha, Nebraska crowd in September, estimating that “multiples of the victims of Sept. 11" had been killed by illegal immigrants, and in 2006, King somehow calculated that 12 Americans die every day because of illegal immigrants. (The federal government has no way of keeping track or calculating that data with any degree of accuracy, so the numbers are conjecture.)
King also famously told a conservative news site in July that "for every one [immigrant] 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."
On Friday, King made the remarks in response to news that a Republican was trying to create a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who serve in the military. "We cannot allow the rule of law to be torn apart because we have sympathy for certain people," King said. "Let's have sympathy for Americans first."