Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs at a town hall meeting on Monday, saying that the United States should pick the best immigrants the way one chooses the "pick of the litter," according to a story in Salon, which also carried a video clip of the incident.

King told constituents in Pocahontas, Iowa, that he's owned lots of bird dogs over the years and advised, "You want a good bird dog? You want one that's going to be aggressive? Pick the one that's the friskiest "¦ not the one that's over there sleeping in the corner," the online magazine reported.

"You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we've got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet," King said. "We've got the vigor from the planet to come to America." According to Salon, the liberal research group American Bridge captured the comments on video.

King, a conservative, is one of the most anti-illegal immigration members of Congress, and he is also known for his sometimes impolitic comments.

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