• The Washington Post


House Republican leaders are denouncing one of their own for remarks made last week that disparaged most illegal immigrants as drug smugglers. The comments by Rep. Steve King of Iowa came as the GOP is trying to improve its image and political prospects among the fast-growing Latino community.

King, one of the House of Representatives’ most vocal opponents of immigration reform, told the conservative website Newsmax that for every young illegal immigrant who becomes a school valedictorian, “there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds (59 kg), and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

In an appearance on Radio Iowa on Tuesday evening, King stood by his remarks, saying his description of some immigrants as “drug mules” came from talking with Border Patrol agents.

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