The attack last week by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city council members on Arizona’s new tough immigration law prompted Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) to pronounce his fellow New York lawmakers “self-righteous.”
King said he hasn’t gone through the details of Arizona’s law, which requires police to demand citizenship papers from anyone they reasonably suspect is here illegally. But as he understands it, he said, it’s “similar to what the federal government should be doing.”
And the reason for the law shouldn’t be dismissed lightly, said King after being named Thursday to chair the House GOP’s new National Security Solution Group.
“It’s easy for us sitting thousands of miles away,” he said. “The only problem we’re going to have in New York is too-crowded neighborhood, maybe some extra crime, whatever, assuming the worst.”
Meanwhile, Levy-for-governor spokesman Josh Hills, when asked for the Suffolk executive's view of the measure upon review, sent us the following statement -- prefaced by Hills' saying "there appear to be some ambiguities in the law that may need to be sorted out by the courts."
"Steve doesn't believe people should be able to be wantonly stopped and or questioned randomly, but if someone is arrested for a crime, he believes in doing what's done in Suffolk County, which is to cross-reference the person who's been arrested with the Federal database. Steve supports checking immigration status upon arrest."
King, who long has demanded a national crackdown on illegal immigration, added, “I’m not immigrant bashing. . . 90 percent of them are good people.”
“But in Arizona, I mean, they’re almost under siege,” he said. “Drug smuggling gangs are coming across the border, immigrant smuggling gangs are coming across the border, you have terrorists coming across the border. And you have the drug wars in Mexico coming across the border.”
“I think a lot of people in New York are being very self-righteous about this.”
We'll add other pols' positions as we get them.