Steve King, the Iowa congressman with a fondness for citing dogs, (drug) mules, and cantaloupes in making illustrative points about immigrants, has earned the ire not only of immigrant advocacy groups but also of fellow Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor. For contending that for every undocumented high school valedictorian there are a hundred drug smugglers, he’s won four Pinocchios from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker page. Now he’s also incurred the disapproval of Sioux City, Iowa, Bishop R. Walker Nickless:

I am disappointed by Rep. King's remarks, which speak of migrants in a way that undermines their human dignity and the respect owed them as children of God. While Catholics may disagree on the specific approach to reforming the immigration system, they should agree that the immigration debate should be conducted in a civil and humane manner. I urge the U.S. House of Representatives to address the immigration issue on its merits. I support common sense reform that provides a reasonable path to citizenship for the undocumented and promotes family unity.

Not quite the “slamming” that some news sites seem to wish—but good, sensible remarks nonetheless. King, quick to pivot, sees a fund-raising opportunity in what he claims is willful misunderstanding by those inclined to disagree with him. Many of the “dozens of messages from Hispanics” he says he's received are supportive--and "declare disgust for the way the left has tried to twist my words. If you also agree, I hope you’ll make a generous donation to my campaign. Every single dollar you’re able to give will help me fight back against these baseless attacks.”

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s editor. Follow him on Twitter.

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