To the editor:
Kansas Rep. Virgil Peck might think he was being funny, but his comments are no joke.
Peck told the House Appropriations Committee that it might be a good idea to control illegal immigration the way we control the feral hog population with hunters shooting from helicopters.
Such comments have no place in civil discourse.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a legislator has compared undocumented immigrants to animals or much worse. Last year, Pat Bertroche, a candidate for Congress in Iowa, said, “I actually support microchipping them. I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I microchip an illegal?” Tom Mullins, a Republican candidate for Congress in New Mexico, had proposed placing mines along the border.
Ironically, Peck’s comment comes just days after the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) launched its Pledge for Respect campaign. It appears it couldn’t have come at a more timely moment.
When Rep. Peck was asked about his comment, he said, “I was just speaking like a southeast Kansas person.” It is despicable that Peck would invoke his Kansan heritage to defend his remarks. I was born and raised in Kansas, and the people I grew up with are hardworking people with close-knit families, good neighbors, and people of strong faith. They do not think that hunting human beings is funny.
Peck might think he was being funny on Monday, but despite his tepid apology, to Hispanics everywhere, his comments are no joke.