Union launches ads using widely condemned words from congressman
July 28th, 2013
12:54 PM ET
10 years ago

Union launches ads using widely condemned words from congressman

Washington (CNN) - A major union pushing for immigration reform will launch a new Spanish-language online ad campaign on Monday that highlights comments by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, which were widely condemned as reprehensible because he portrayed many of the children of undocumented immigrants as drug traffickers.

The ad from the Service Employees International Union will run in the districts of seven House Republicans. They use King’s comments from an interview earlier this month with the conservative media outlet Newsmax, where he discussed children of immigrants who want to gain U.S. citizenship if they have graduated high school or served in the military - the so-called “DREAMers.”

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King said: “For every one 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.”

The new ad, called “Otra Vez” - which means “once again” in English – says, “Once again, the debate over immigration reform has devolved to the lowest level by offensive comments and actions by extreme Republicans in Congress.”

It goes on to say, “This is offensive and an insult to our community. It’s time that Republicans choose between extremism or progress.”

King, one of the most conservative House Republicans on dealing with illegal immigration, came under withering criticism from members of both parties, including House Speaker John Boehner, for the remarks.

But in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, King did not back down.

“You only get one valedictorian per class per year. And they aren't all DREAMers,” he said on Wednesday. “And a lot of other American kids out here that are competing for that valedictorian status. But every night there are dozens and scores of people that are smuggling drugs across our border.”

“I've been down there multiple times,” King continued. “I've sat along the border at night. I've traveled with the Border Patrol for days on end…This isn't something that just was made up out of thin air. This is something I get from the people enforcing the law down on the border.”

SEIU, which is spending five figures for the online buy, is running the ad in the districts of Reps. Cory Miller, R-California; Howard McKeon, R-California; Scott Tipton, R-Colorado; Daniel Webster, R-Florida; Joe Heck, R-Nevada; Mark Amodei, R-Nevada; and Randy Weber, R-Florida - all who represent districts with substantial Latino populations, union officials say.

Filed under: Immigration • SEIU • Steve King
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Name Uche Agonsi

    I hope we dont forget the need for unionism. Otherwise, we illegitimise them. King should tell us which one is better, to export the jobs to other countries or allow people to come to US & work. ........and how it does to illegitimise kids born in US, as well as repartriate 11 million people when his party are opposed to closing down Montana prison. Based on the way Rep King thinks he doesnt deserve to be a congressman.

    July 29, 2013 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  2. Neutral Observer

    Isn't it odd that the union which is supposed to be acting in the best interest of it members is actively pushing policies that will be most detrimental to its own members?

    July 29, 2013 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  3. Marie MD

    Is anyone checking the Canadian border or the "white" folks who come into the US illegally from Canada?
    This includes tea troll cross probably who know wants to be our president.

    July 29, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  4. TONE

    Where is this racism coming from? it seem like the past five years racist comments have become a norm in America it is like we never come nowhere it seem like we are still stuck in the past it seem like the next legislative vote coming from the republican party is segregation.

    July 29, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
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