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Steve King: Ronald Reagan's Amnesty Act Decision 'Brought About Barack Obama's Election'

05/23/2013 10:51 pm ET | Updated May 24, 2013

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) took a stroll down memory lane on Thursday, pointing a finger at a former president for helping Barack Obama get elected.

The Hill notes that King rewinded to the Ronald Reagan administration, criticizing the former president's decision to pass the 1986 Amnesty Act. NPR noted in 2010 that the bill was designed to impose a crackdown on border security with Mexico, but effectively allowed amnesty to any immigrant entering the U.S. prior to 1982.

The Washington Post added in January that as a result, 2.7 million immigrants were awarded green cards. That prompted King to connect some dots on Thursday, tracing that movement to the last two presidential elections.

"[T]hey have to admit that Ronald Reagan's signature on the '86 amnesty act brought about Barack Obama's election," King said on the House floor, according to The Hill.

Obama's 2012 reelection win was heavily aided by a strong Latino voter presence. CNN reported in November that not only did 71 percent of Latinos vote for the president, but they represented 10 percent of the overall electorate for the first time in history.

Here in 2013, King has been a vocal opponent of immigration reform, railing on Tuesday that the Senate's immigration bill is "far, far worse than Obamacare." After last month's Boston bombings, King also cautioned against immigration reform because it could endanger the public.

"Some of the speculation that has come out is that, yes, it was a foreign national and, speculating here, that it was potentially a person on a student visa," King told The National Review. "If that's the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture."

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