The vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday blasted a Kansas state representative for comparing illegal immigrants to “feral hogs” and advocating their killing, saying such rhetoric is dangerous.

Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Regulation: Labor IG to investigate tip-pooling rule | Mulvaney reportedly puts brakes on Equifax probe | Dems want new restrictions on Comcast Becerra, other state AGs call on DOL to scrap tip-pooling rule California considers state-run bank for pot businesses MORE (D-Calif.) also slammed Republicans for not immediately denouncing the comments by GOP state Rep. Virgil Peck, saying their silence is “deafening.”

Earlier this week, during an appropriations hearing on ways to control the state’s feral pig population, Peck told fellow lawmakers, “It might be a good idea to control illegal immigration the way the feral hog population has been controlled, with hunters shooting from helicopters,” according to the Lawrence Journal World.

Peck later said he had been joking.

“Advocating the killing or slaughter of any individual or group is no laughing matter, and I’m sure the good people of southeast Kansas would agree,” said Becerra in a statement. “We know all too well where that kind of unacceptable talk can lead. The memory of the Tucson, Arizona shooting is still fresh in our minds.”

The January shooting killed six and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)

Becerra called on the GOP to oppose Peck’s comments and work with Democrats to try to address the problem of illegal immigration.

“The American people want us to work together to fix our broken immigration system,” he said. “And they want leaders who offer solutions, not fear, hatred and violence. Where are the voices of the leaders of the Republican party denouncing State Representative Peck’s vicious comments? Their silence is deafening.”

The executive director of the Kansas Republican Party did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.