Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is the target of a Republican lynch mob for his remarks on the so-called “Dream Act,” which is suddenly popular with the House Republican leadership.

A new version of amnesty legislation that has failed to pass Congress many times is being repackaged and promoted as an alternative to the much broader Senate amnesty bill. It’s impossible to evaluate a bill that has not yet been introduced, but Rep. King committed the cardinal sin of calling into question the central premise on which such legislation is based.

Rep. King questioned the premise that every illegal alien who crossed the border as a child or teenager is a prospective high school valediction and model citizen and, therefore, must be forgiven the sins of the parents who brought them across the border. “It’s morally wrong to punish the children” is the main argument for the bill.

Yes, the exact words Rep. King used to challenge that premise are easy to criticize. His words were too aggressive, and not every teenager or young adult who crossed the desert carried a heavy load of marijuana. But King’s substantive point is demonstrably true. There are in fact far more drug smugglers (and other criminals) than future valedictorians among the nearly 2 million youthful illegal aliens who would qualify for the “Dream” amnesty.

But rather than engage the important issues raised by Rep. King, House Speaker Boehner chose to characterize King’s remarks as “hateful.” Can anyone recall Boehner reacting that way to the outrageous rhetoric used by Democrats promoting the amnesty bill?

It is disgusting to see Republican leaders joining this lynch mob. Such feigned outrage is designed to shut down debate, not elevate it. Why this over-the-top reaction? Rep. King is challenging the myth underlying the Dream legislation, legislation that had 90 percent Republican opposition – including John McCain and Marco Rubio – when it was killed in Congress in 2011.

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There is no way to know the exact ratio of valedictorians to drug smugglers among the 1.7 million illegal aliens the Pew Hispanic Center says will qualify for Obama’s “Deferred Action” amnesty program. But just for fun, let’s do the math.

It is important to remember that under the Obama administrative rules for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, there is no requirement that the young man or woman actually entered the country in the company of a parent. They could have been seeking to join a parent already here, or aiming to join a grandparent or aunt or uncle, or merely sign an affidavit that this is the case. So, in reality, under any version of the Dream Act implemented by the Obama bureaucracy, all youthful border crossers are considered eligible for the DACA amnesty.

By the math, allowing that up to 20 percent of the 1.7 million Pew number might be visa overstays and not border jumpers (most visa overstays were tourists and other adults entering via airports), we can estimate that about 80 percent or 1.36 million of them entered the U.S. by crossing the southwest border illegally.

How likely is it that a teenager carried drugs across the border? Well, consider this. It is well-known that for over a decade, the same drug cartels and criminal gangs that control drug smuggling on the southwest border also control the people smuggling. Thus, anyone seeking to cross the southwest border illegally is at the mercy of those cartels and their requirements. So, carrying a load of marijuana across the border as part of the “deal” is not a rare event – in fact, it is quite common.

Now, If only 10 percent of those 1.36 million were required by the Mexican cartels to carry a load of marijuana or other drugs as part of the price for the border crossing, that would mean that about 136,000 of the young people who qualify for amnesty under any known version of the Dream Act probably smuggled drugs as part of their border crossing. But let’s be generous and say that number may be only 100,000.

Rep. King’s heinous sin was saying that for every valedictorian among the youthful illegals made eligible for amnesty by the Dream Act, there are 100 drug smugglers. For Steve King to be a the racist demagogue addicted to “hateful” rhetoric as painted by his critics, there have to be more than 1,000 valedictorians among the 1.7 million illegal aliens who will be granted legal status and eventual citizenship by the Dream Act. Does Speaker Boehner or Sen. Menendez know the Vegas odds on that?

The point of this little mathematical exercise is not to prove that any specific number of “Dreamers” first entered the country as drug smugglers. The point is that Rep. King has raised a legitimate issue and does not deserve to be vilified and demonized for doing so.

If partisans of the Dream Act – or the new “KIDS Act” envisioned by some House Republicans – want to invoke the accomplishments of a few valedictorians as a reason to grant 1.7 million amnesties, then they need to specify with some clarity how that law will screen out the larger number of criminals among those 1.7 million applicants. It would also be helpful to know how the Obama administration can be required to enforce any such distinctions.

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