You would think that Iowa congressman Steve King (R) would finally get the memo about his “cantaloupe” comments, the sequel to comparison of immigrants to dogs.
King’s Twitter profile is responding to his critics, which range from both the left and the right.
#NoAmnesty To my critics who “feel” righteously vindicated by Wash Post go here: http://t.co/R5vHMdjHJb & here: http://t.co/jlfjx5kMbw Now??
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) July 29, 2013
The first link in King’s tweet comes from The Washington Post. The Post piece gave King “4 Pinocchios” for his comments:
King’s claim about valedictorians and smugglers is a nonsense fact, designed to suggest an aura of authenticity to an otherwise objectionable statement. It appears King heard something, from someone he has not named, and had blown it into “facts” for which he feels little need to provide evidence.
We would certainly revisit this issue if King supplies us with additional material to bolster his claim. If a politician is going to say stuff like this, he or she has to be prepared to back it up with actual facts.
Otherwise the claim has as much authority as the number 57 in the classic movie, “The Manchurian Candidate.” For readers unfamiliar with the reference, that’s when the number of alleged “card-carrying communists” in the Defense Department was determined by the “57” on a Heinz Ketchup bottle.
So where is King’s proof? Well, according to King, it is in the second link, which is a WND piece by (wait for it) Tom Tancredo. If you don’t know who Tancredo is, just click here. Talk about one neo-nativist using another neo-nativist for support. Here is a just a sampling of what Tancredo writes:
There is no way to know the exact ratio of valedictorians to drug smugglers among the 1.7 million illegal aliens the Pew Hispanic Center says will qualify for Obama’s “Deferred Action” amnesty program. But just for fun, let’s do the math.
It is important to remember that under the Obama administrative rules for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, there is no requirement that the young man or woman actually entered the country in the company of a parent. They could have been seeking to join a parent already here, or aiming to join a grandparent or aunt or uncle, or merely sign an affidavit that this is the case. So, in reality, under any version of the Dream Act implemented by the Obama bureaucracy, all youthful border crossers are considered eligible for the DACA amnesty.
By the math, allowing that up to 20 percent of the 1.7 million Pew number might be visa overstays and not border jumpers (most visa overstays were tourists and other adults entering via airports), we can estimate that about 80 percent or 1.36 million of them entered the U.S. by crossing the southwest border illegally.
How likely is it that a teenager carried drugs across the border? Well, consider this. It is well-known that for over a decade, the same drug cartels and criminal gangs that control drug smuggling on the southwest border also control the people smuggling. Thus, anyone seeking to cross the southwest border illegally is at the mercy of those cartels and their requirements. So, carrying a load of marijuana across the border as part of the “deal” is not a rare event – in fact, it is quite common.
Now, If only 10 percent of those 1.36 million were required by the Mexican cartels to carry a load of marijuana or other drugs as part of the price for the border crossing, that would mean that about 136,000 of the young people who qualify for amnesty under any known version of the Dream Act probably smuggled drugs as part of their border crossing. But let’s be generous and say that number may be only 100,000.
Rep. King’s heinous sin was saying that for every valedictorian among the youthful illegals made eligible for amnesty by the Dream Act, there are 100 drug smugglers. For Steve King to be a the racist demagogue addicted to “hateful” rhetoric as painted by his critics, there have to be more than 1,000 valedictorians among the 1.7 million illegal aliens who will be granted legal status and eventual citizenship by the Dream Act. Does Speaker Boehner or Sen. Menendez know the Vegas odds on that?
The point of this little mathematical exercise is not to prove that any specific number of “Dreamers” first entered the country as drug smugglers. The point is that Rep. King has raised a legitimate issue and does not deserve to be vilified and demonized for doing so.
Seriously, Tom? By the way, the Post story that King is trying to discredit by propping is against Trancedo’s piece used had this to say about what King is so far off. So, which one do you believe, the Post or Trancedo? Here is part of what the Post said:
The article is talking about Mexican youth, not undocumented youth living in the United States. These facts have nothing to do with King’s initial assertion. The only American connection in the article is a reference to Edgar Jimenez Lugo, known as “El Ponchis,” who was arrested at age 14 on charges related to four drug-related murders. But Lugo was actually born a U.S. citizen, and then was mostly raised in Mexico. He is the opposite of a “DREAMer”—someone born in another country but raised in the United States.
Indeed, a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that four out of five arrests for drug smuggling involve U.S. citizens, which also would exclude “DREAMers.” (Note to King: these people were generally caught driving a car or truck; few people these days seem to haul marijuana over the desert by foot, cantaloupe calves or not).
Okay, you get the picture. There’s no way to substantiate the other part of the equation either.
In fact, King’s fact says much less than he thinks it does. Estimates suggest that there might be about 2 million people who could eventually be eligible under the DREAM Act, almost evenly split between men and women. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that 1,000 (1/20th of one percent) are valedictorians. That would mean King assumes 100,000–or one-tenth of all “DREAMers” or about 20 percent of the men—are drug smugglers.
But the American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration group, cites a 2007 study that found that “for every ethnic group, without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are the least educated. This holds especially true for the Mexicans, Salvadorians and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the unauthorized population.”
Alternatively, maybe there are only five valedictorians, so there would be 500 smugglers—which tells you little out of a population of 2 million people.
On July 24, King tweeted this article out:
#NoAmnesty: White House, GOP Leadership Ignore Facts To Attack Steve King. The objective truth on cantaloupes. http://t.co/cgfplp7450
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) July 24, 2013
That was a Breitbart “EXCLUSIVE,” which contained “facts” such as these:
Obviously, if those children were not caught by law enforcement–drug mules often do not get caught–they would qualify for amnesty under the DREAM Act being pushed by Cantor and being implemented by Obama via executive order.
The Associated Press, in March 2012, reported those same Obama administration ICE statistics and included anecdotal stories of young Mexicans under the age of 18 who are addicted to drugs and now selling them on behalf of the cartels.
Drug dealing is not the only criminal activity some DREAM Act-qualified illegal aliens engage in inside America’s borders once they are here. Jamiel Shaw, Jr., a young 17-year-old black male destined for Stanford University, was murdered by an illegal alien who would have qualified for amnesty under the DREAM Act. Shaw’s father testified, in the House Judiciary Committee, just last month, about how the DREAM Act-qualified illegal alien killed his son in 2008 and that illegal alien now awaits execution on death row.
Given the fact the Speaker, Majority Leader and White House Press Secretary all got their facts wrong in these attacks on King, King told Breitbart News “it looks like” it all part an effort by those in the political establishment to push amnesty.
“I’ve never seen such lack of restraint on the part of the team of people that have been elected to lead us,” King said in his interview with Breitbart, referencing Boehner’s and Cantor’s remarks. “The only thing that is logical is that they are seeing their dream of a component of amnesty slip away.”
King added that the leadership in Washington in both parties has “now been confronted with the reality and instead of accepting it, and addressing it, what they have done is just wiped out.”
“When I read their quotes, I have to believe they didn’t read mine,” King said. “They completely missed the mark. I don’t yet know of anyone who has raised a logical argument against my statement.”
King added at the end of the interview with Breitbart News that “any of my critics out there should review the video, watch the video, and they should review the entire quote. And they will understand that what I said is objective, it’s true and it cannot be logically challenged. If we can’t deal with reality when we’re writing legislation that sets the destiny of the United States forever, then this nation will eventually fail.”
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