Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York says the tea party "hates immigrants," adding that Republicans didn't pass the Senate immigration bill in the last Congress because of fear of the tea party.
"If Speaker John Boehner, the leader of the House, put it on the floor today, it would pass," Schumer said on Reaching Out With Gregory Floyd.
Schumer added the tea party "hate immigrants."
"Why doesn't he? Because the tea party, these 80 to 100 folks from the hard right, none from New York, say they hate immigration, they hate immigrants. One person told me in this immigration move, they wouldn't let Albert Einstein come into this country if he wanted to, amazingly enough, and they block it."
The interview was posted by Reaching Out Monday, listing the date as "3-21-2015," but it's unclear when the interview was conducted because the 2014 midterm election is mentioned as an event in the future.
Schumer singled out Rep. Steve King of Iowa as the leader of the tea party.
"Their leader is a guy named Steve King from a rural district in Iowa. He says the most outrageous things about immigrants. He says they are all drug dealers, and this and that and the other stuff. He calls them all kinds of names. And in the Republican Party, even though they the know the right thing to do is pass the immigration reform bill, so afraid of the tea party, that they are doing nothing."
Schumer said not passing immigration reform was "hurting them politically," referring to Republicans. He added, "No Hispanic community is going to vote for them with their attitude but they are still doing it. So I want to get this passed for the good of America, for the good of the 11 million living in the shadows, for the good of the industries and things like that."
Earlier in the interview, Schumer said the immigration bill was supported by those from states with immigrants and largely opposed by "the people who don't have any immigrants. States from Wyoming and stuff like that."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.