Deirdre Shesgreen reports:
An advocacy group working to promote comprehensive immigration reform will launch two radio ads targeting House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday.
The ads are an effort to tie Boehner, R-West Chester, to Rep. Steve King’s comments earlier this month comparing young undocumented immigrants to drug mules, which unleashed a furor.
Some House Republicans have endorsed the idea of granting a path to citizenship for children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents–so-called Dreamers–if they meet certain conditions.
But King, R-Iowa, has staunchly opposed that idea. “For everyone 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,” King said in remarks that have been condemned by lawmakers in both parties.
Boehner said King’s comments were “deeply offensive and wrong” and do not “reflect the values of the American people, or the Republican Party.”
But the Campaign for Community Change, an advocacy group that focuses on issues related to the poor, accused Boehner of siding with King on the issue of Dreamers, even as he distances himself from King’s remarks.
“Republicans accuse our kids of smuggling drugs – yet another insult,” says the narrator of one of the two radio ads. “And our own congressman–John Boehner–leads Republicans who voted to deport thousands of our children.”
The ad is referring to legislation sponsored by King that would bar funding for an Obama administration initiative limiting deportations of certain undocumented immigrants.
The amendment passed in June, with all but 12 House Republicans voting yes. Boehner, as House Speaker, does not normally vote and he didn’t break with tradition on the King measure.
But as the House GOP leader, he did have a say in whether the measure came up for a vote. Asked for comment on the ads, Boehner’s spokeswoman pointed to his condemnation of King and other recent remarks about immigration reform.
“House Republicans are committed to fixing a broken immigration system,” Boehner said last week. “We’re working on a common-sense, step-by-step approach to ensure that the American people have confidence that we’re addressing these issues openly and honestly.”