(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is under fire from members of his own party for suggesting that most undocumented immigrants are drug mules.
King was addressing the issue of unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were minors for a July 18 interview with Newsmax.
For child of an unauthorized immigrant who becomes "a valedictorian," he said, "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. Those people would be legalized with the same act."
"What he said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican party," he added.
Boehner's critique came just a day after he met with a group of Latino evangelical leaders to discuss immigration reform. In that meeting, one of the topics discussed was how the Republican Party needs to change its rhetoric regarding immigrants if it wants to appeal to Latino voters.
Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, told Boehner that the values of the Republican Party resonate with Latinos "because of their devotion to faith, family and religious liberty."
One of the reasons, though, that Republicans have done so poorly among Latinos in recent elections, Rodriguez told The Christian Post in a Tuesday interview, has been the "anti-immigrant rhetoric within the Republican Party."
Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) called King's remarks "irresponsible and reprehensible."
Labrador also insistented that King's comments were not representative of the attitudes of most Republicans toward unauthorized immigrants.
"I think what he said was out of touch with the conference," he said. "There's nobody in the conference who would say such a thing and I hope that he, if he thought about it, he wouldn't say such a thing again."