Immigration remains a hot topic even during recess
AMES, Iowa — Kicking off an August of likely intense debate over immigration, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat traveled to Iowa Friday to rebuke House Republicans who oppose major changes embraced by the Senate.
Sen. Richard Durbin's strategically targeted visit was a fairly small and calm foretaste of planned demonstrations by opponents and supporters of the proposed immigration changes during Congress' summer recess. The Senate measure would heighten border security and provide a pathway to citizenship for millions living here illegally.
Durbin, of Illinois, joined Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin at a forum in a college town represented in Congress by Republican Rep. Steve King. Republican leaders have denounced King's most inflammatory remarks.
Harkin said Iowans “are compassionate, caring people and we don't characterize people with hateful, spiteful, degrading language.”
King said in a July interview that some Hispanics brought to the country illegally as children become high school valedictorians. But for each of those, he said, “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.”