Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of “calves the size of cantaloupes” fame said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump should have repealed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program “on the first day” of his presidency.
He said that Trump made a “clear pledge” during his candidacy to take immediate action.
“I timed him. He was signing executive orders, it was taking him 47 seconds per executive order a Saturday or two ago,” King said. “So, hell, I only want 47 seconds of the President’s time. Knock it out and let’s get on with life.”
He suggested that the delay was a result of conflict between “two factions” within Trump’s administration, but insisted that the President still needs to honor his campaign promise.
“I want to see it done, and done soon, because the problem is getting bigger every day,” King said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer signaled in January that Trump was not prioritizing undocumented immigrants who were granted deportation relief under President Barack Obama’s executive actions.
“About two days ago you were asked about DACA,” a reporter asked Spicer at the time. “Some of the DREAMers, as they are known, have lots of questions regarding, what is their future?”
“He’s going to work through it with his team in a very humane way to make sure that he respects the situation that many of these children are in, that were brought here,” Spicer responded. “His priority with respect to immigration is first and foremost making sure that people who are in this country that are seeking to do us harm or have committed a crime are at the forefront of that.”
King claimed in a 2013 interview that for every DREAMer who becomes 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 faced near-universal condemnation for the remark from both Republicans and Democrats, including then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who called King “an asshole” in an aside to Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX).
DREAMers subsequently delivered cantaloupes to King’s office in protest of his statement.