The following is a cross-post from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
Today members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus released the following statements to denounce the harmful comments made by Rep. Steve King (IA-5) about DREAMers. Videos from the member’s one minute floor statements held earlier today are linked to below. Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) a leader in the CHC also gave a comment which is included below:
Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15): “America expects members of Congress to exemplify what is great about our country. They expect us to represent virtues of tolerance, respect and intelligence. Generalizations about children, about entire races of people are intolerant, disrespectful and not very intelligent. Our country expects better from us. Recent comments made by my colleague across the aisle are far below those expectations.”
First Vice Chair Ben Ray Luján (NM-03): “This is the latest in a long list of outrageous and offensive comments House Republicans have made about the Hispanic community. The fact that Congressman King’s Republican colleagues in the House continue to tolerate these kinds of appalling comments and these extreme voices is deeply disappointing. At a time when we should be working together to address our broken immigration system, these hateful words only seek to divide rather than bring people together to find common ground. It is no wonder that the American people continue to see House Republicans as out-of-touch and unfriendly to the Hispanic community.”
Whip Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) “I am appalled that Rep. King would choose to disparage and bully the estimated 800,000 young DREAMers who were brought to America as children through no fault of their own and are leading law-abiding lives. That sort of hateful rhetoric has no place in the United States Congress or in this country. Instead of trying to divide Americans, we should be working together on a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that finally fixes our broken immigration system.”
Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) “Steve King’s comments about DREAMers are about as misguided as his views on what constitutes a compliment. Rather than demonizing immigrants and blaming them for the challenges facing our nation, we need to make them part of the solution by providing a clear path to earned citizenship and helping them along the road to full integration. The old tactic of stirring up baseless fears will not divert our focus on fixing our nation’s broken immigration system once and for all.”
Albio Sires (NJ-8): “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 could sell it in America. It is disgraceful that a member of this body would disgrace the House and this country with remarks like that. I recognize that not all members of this body feel the same way. I represent Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty—two monuments that symbolize the history of America as a nation of immigrants. So when you make remarks like one of the members made, it’s not only ignorant, but quite frankly stupid not recognizing the history of this country.
Raul Ruiz (CA-36): “Representative King’s recent comments about children—“children of immigrants are a disgrace to this institution”— are unacceptable and just plain wrong on so many levels. We may not all agree on the best way to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, but we can all agree that it’s broken. Comments like Representative King’s don’t do anything to solve problems or bring us closer to a true bipartisan solution on immigration. They only exacerbate the problem of extreme partisanship and inject needless divisiveness into the conversation on how to best reform our immigration system. This sort of ideologically-driven and hateful rhetoric has no place in this institution and it must stop. It’s time for both parties to put down the partisan talking points and make a good faith effort to work together to have a conversation and not a confrontation. We need to act and we need to act now. We must reduce our deficit by passing this comprehensive immigration reform.”