Steve King defends saying DREAMers are drug smugglers

“It’s not something that I’m making up. This is real," he said

By Jillian Rayfield
Published July 24, 2013 3:58PM (EDT)

Rep. Steve King is standing by comments he made describing DREAMers as drug smugglers with "calves the size of cantaloupes,"  arguing that “It’s not something that I’m making up. This is real."

Last week, King explained to Newsmax why he introduced an amendment to stop the Obama Administration from delaying the deportation of DREAMers, the term used for undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children. "For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” he said. “Those people would be legalized with the same act."

On Tuesday, King doubled down. "I don’t disagree that there are DREAMers that are valedictorians, but it also would legalize those that are smuggling drugs into the United States," he said on Radio Iowa.

"It’s not something that I’m making up. This is real," King continued. "We have people that are mules, that are drug mules, that are hauling drugs across the border and you can tell by their physical characteristics what they’ve been doing for months, going through the desert with 75 pounds of drugs on their back and if those who advocate for the DREAM Act, if they choose to characterize this about valedictorians, I gave them a different image that we need to be thinking about because we just simply can’t be passing legislation looking only at one component of what would be millions of people.”

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Dream Act House Republicans Immigration Reform Iowa Steve King