NY State Senator Calls On Steve King To Apologize For Immigration Remarks

New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D) on Tuesday called on Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to apologize for urging caution on immigration reform in light of the Boston Marathon bombings. 

“Congressman King is cynically exploiting a national tragedy to sabotage the best chance at immigration reform we’ve seen in decades, and keep millions of patriotic immigrants from achieving citizenship,” Espaillat said in a written statement. “He should apologize immediately to the hard-working, tax-paying immigrants that have come to our country to ensure a better life for their families.”

In an interview with National Review Online, King brought up reports that a Saudi man has been questioned about the bombings. “If we can’t background check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we are going to background check the 11 to 20 million people that are here from who knows where,” King said.

Espaillat represents the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, an area with a large Dominican population. 

Below is Espaillat’s full statement:

“Congressman King is cynically exploiting a national tragedy to sabotage the best chance at immigration reform we’ve seen in decades, and keep millions of patriotic immigrants from achieving citizenship. He should apologize immediately to the hard-working, tax-paying immigrants that have come to our country to ensure a better life for their families.

 

Keeping the more than 11 million immigrants in the U.S. living in the shadows under our current broken system is not effective policy. 

 

Tragedies like the attack that occurred in Boston should bring us together, and remind us of how much we have in common regardless of our beliefs. But Congressman King has shamefully used this moment to demagogue the immigrant and Latino community at a time when we are on the cusp of achieving a major civil rights victory and reuniting families that have been split apart by our archaic immigration laws.”

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