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POLITICS: PennAve

Steve King defends immigration comments

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Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, insisted Sunday that his statement that for every child brought to America as an illegal immigrant who later becomes a valedictorian, another 100 become drug smugglers had “not been debunked.”

“I’ve seen the drug smugglers,” King said on NBC's “Meet The Press.” “I’ve spent time at the border.”

King has been widely criticized by other Republicans for his comment, including House Republican leaders. A Washington Post fact check of King’s remarks found them to be erroneous.

But King has stood by his statement and has even used it to raise money.

On Sunday, King continued to express concerns that granting amnesty to people who immigrated illegally as children would legalize scores of drug smugglers.

“This proposes to legalize a lot of people that will include the people who are drug smugglers up to the age of 35,” King said of the comprehensive immigration reform proposals being discussed by Congress. “You cannot do a background check on people that don’t have a legal existence in their home country, and the people that are advocating for this don’t understand the full scope. So it’s time we had a national debate on what really happens with this.”

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