Tennessee State Rep: Pregnant Illegal Immigrant Women, Offspring Are “Multiplying Rats”

Tennessee state Representative Curry Todd isn’t the first to first against illegal immigrant women being given free prenatal care in the hopes that their children, who will automatically be citizens at birth, will grow healthy and not require future expensive care.

But he is the first to refer to those women and children as “multiplying rats.”

Via My Fox Memphis:

[I]t’s difficult to understand why Representative Todd made the comments he did during a committee hearing in Nashville, Tuesday. Todd was asking if a state-funded health care program checked citizenship of pregnant women before paying for healthcare. “We are not permitted to determine citizenship because once the child is born, it’s considered a US citizen,” to which Todd responded, “We can go out there like rats, and multiply then, I guess.”

FOX13 talked with Todd over the phone, Thursday.

He said he’s not going to get “hooked up in political correctness” and said the issue remains.

“(Reporter) Are you willing to apologize to anyone who may have been offended? (Todd) No. I’m not apologizing to anyone who may have been offended. I used the wrong terminology.”

“Maybe my words were a little harsh on that. I probably should have used anchor babies which are what they are called in Arizona and Texas,” said Todd.

Todd goes on to say the issue remains saying, “I don’t want to see any child not have care, but I feel they are abusing our system here because they know they can get these kids services, and the taxpayers in Tennessee are the ones having to pay for this, its not them.”

Local press is unimpressed with Todd’s original statement or his “apology.”

Comparing people to animals or things is disgraceful and repugnant, and if Rep. Todd thinks he softened the blow in his follow-up remarks, he has shown that he does not understand the responsibility that voters entrusted in him.

On Monday, after the lawmaker had had six days to reflect on his remarks, he finally issued an apology — an apology with a politically crafted caveat that was obviously intended to deflect criticism.

The “policy issue,” as he termed it on Monday, is that Tennessee taxpayers are footing the bill for U.S.-born children of immigrants to get health care, and that immigrants are somehow “abusing the system.”

So, let’s get this straight: As Rep. Todd sees it, immigrants get government-assisted care for their children, not because the children are sick or need preventive checkups, but for the sheer mischief of taking money out of taxpayers’ pockets? And for no other reason than to increase the monetary pain, they have as many children as they can?

[T]his should be a red flag to his constituents and colleagues in the statehouse. Rep. Curry Todd may not be fit to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly.

The Latina Institute responds to the entire fiasco:

Curry Todd’s use of language not only shows his hatred toward Latino immigrants, but also his inability to see a woman’s fertility decision as her own. These are the racist and dehumanizing beliefs we have to contend with in the immigration debate.

Nebraska used their own xenophobia to end prenatal care for illegal immigrant women, only to see a rise in stillbirths across the state.  But I suppose to politicians like Curry Todd, that is no big loss, especially if you aren’t dealing with real people, only a bunch of “rats.”

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Judith Valente
Judith Valente5 years ago

If only people would open their eyes and see the true colors of what big business is up to. They would BOYCOTT THE SALES OF THESE CORRUPT BUSINESSES!

Judith Valente
Judith Valente5 years ago

I don't care how cheaply these illegals work for. WE didn't have that sort of access to the system (we also were paid similarly)! I can't even learn the spanish language for free, even if MY taxes paid for it. So you see-the system needs an overhaul here.
I understand that harassment for no legal purpose is not justified. But to let people across borders just because the RICH people get more and more rich (illegally), then this is a bigger crime than most.

Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Wow, Martha, you must really be bored, dredging up a 2-month-old discussion! Yes,"anchor babies" is a very appropriate term, not VILE at all. That's exactly what they are.......babies born here in the U.S. with the theory that by being born here, they'll be U.S. citizens automatically (which they are) and the mothers will therefore get to stay. Of COURSE women get pregnant all the time, but that's not the subject or the point of this discussion. What IS the point is that women should not expect to come into this country ILLEGALLY and have their kids and then stay here and get freebies, such as welfare, food stamps and free medical care. When's the last time you, (assuming you are a citizen born in the U.S.) went into a hospital or clinic and asked for medical care & said, "Hey guys, I don't have any money.........give me what I need for nothing"! When is the last time you went grocery shopping and walked into the store expecting to leave with everything you needed without the money to pay for what you wanted, and if they said, "Wait a minute, you need to pay for this food, you came back with speaking in Spanish (or whatever) and said you didn't have any money, don't "speaka da English" (no habla englas? I've seen that happen all too often!

Yes, the men fathering the children have a role. Nobody's disclaiming that. What we're discussing is the women who are PREGNANT coming in the U.S.,with or without the men who fathered those kids, ILLEGALLY.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

Diane L. and others are ascribing underhanded motives to these women that I don't believe are there. FIRST, people born in this country are citizens, not rats, nor "anchor babies", a particularly vicious term. Women get pregnant all the time, and not because they are trying for U.S. citizenship, and I believe men have a role they play in procreation. Sex produces pregnancies, unless it is protected sex. Let's get sensible. This is as normal as anything we do. And these mothers are as normal as any U.S.-born citizen. Common sense, people.

Elodia Resendez
Elodia Resendez5 years ago

Those of u who r opposed 2 having undocumented workers here have 4gotten the history of our country and r also short sighted. 1st, the USA is not bursting at the seams. We r 1 of the least populated nations! From the beginning of the USA foreigners have come here, legally and illegally, from every country there is, not just from the American countries in this hemisphere. Yes there r lazy ones and criminals 2. But 99.9% of them have become citizens and have added productivity paid taxestheir children have served in the military. Employers in the southwest will not hire any 1 but illegals because they work;they get work done. Our citizens r wimps compared 2 them. I have seen students so brilliant they r capable of becoming becoming rocket scientists mathematicians doctors teachers nurses...these r isciplines that many of our college students shun as 2 difficult. Yes,u are cutting off your nose 2 spite your face. We need people like that. We need people willing 2 work, 2 show others how 2 work hard 4 what they want, and how 2 b families. USA citizens stick their elders in nursing home and never go see them, whine and complain about paying their fair share of taxes...when u were born there were roads, hospitals, schools, churches, trained doctors, football stadiums built by the previous generation...now it is your turn 2 pay it forward but do you? No!U teach your kids 2 feel entitled 2 everything but 2 not pay 4 them 4 the next generation, your own grandkids. Shame!

Janice N.
Janice N.5 years ago

I think Mr. Todd is right on the ball...America is popping at it's seams and can't take care of the people already living here and now illegals are trying to get in on our free healthcare?! Sorry, that just pisses me off and isn't right! Stay in your own country!

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

I see Guadalupe is continuing with the asinine name-calling, but Vince already addressed it, and yup, Vince, she's pretty much the epitome of a "narrow-minded ignorant", but then that would assume that is a correct word in that instance? Whew......never knew "ignorant" was a noun before!

Eric, yes, you're technically correct. Their children ARE citizens, but shouldn't be. I think most of us agree that if the parent who was here illegally was deported, then they'd say the kid was a U.S. citizen, so should be allowed to stay, but that being the case, they'll start screaming that we're forcing a Mother to leave her child. The point is, MOM wants to stay, so she figures if the kid stays, she should be allowed to as well. If we start deporting BOTH Mom and the kid, maybe they'll stop trying this tactic, who knows?

There's another discussion in Care.2 about freezing the paychecks of government employees. How about not only freezing welfare and food stamps, but eliminating them for those who aren't entitled? Wonder how much THAT would help the Federal budget deficit?

Vince D.
Vince D6 years ago


We’re not narrow minded or ignorant, just pragmatic realists. Your pro-Hispanic Anglophobic ideology is preventing you from see the picture. You are the ignorant as evidenced by your name calling and lack of logical thinking.

The problems that you mention are very real, what makes you imagine that we don’t see these issues also? Yes, our corporations are greedy bastards that can’t wait to ship jobs to China/Mexico/India/etc. Yes, that is a big issue.

But illegal migration and employment are also big issues. There are 7-8 MILLION illegal aliens taking American jobs, not including farm labor. Think construction, hospitality, landscaping, food processing, janitorial, food service. Those used to be good jobs, but with the illegal invasion and the resultant wage depression, are now marginal jobs. Open your eyes Guadalupe, this IS a huge problem!

And yes, I do suspect that you are illegal, and you have not yet answered that question.

guadalupe o.
guadalupe o.6 years ago

Vince D. ,JUDY S, Diane L. Not all americans are narrow minded,ignorants as you,!thank God!! .your stament that i have to be illligal to be speaking out in their defense shows your lock of argument and understanding of the real problems in this country,and to say that they are taking the american jobs is absurd! ,the american economy is base on jobs that we are shipping overseas,the big corporations together with the goverment,pass laws that enable them to go offshore for cheap labor and where is not labor and eviromental regulations,they make it imposible to do buseness in the U S,especially in california,but let the chinese ship all the products made by complete familys including minors for pennys a day,and by polluting our planet with no regualions enforcement.so we americans are not producing what we consume,the munufacturing jobs have disapeared,even the banks,credit cards etc.are shipping the customer service jobs! That is wy our peaple are suffering,the greed of big corporations have broken our economy,and now we are force to buy the cheap products,because we can't afford "made in america"or because there is no more made in america,look around and try to find products like toys,electronics,clothing,tools,etc.Those manufacturing jobs where the strend of our economy and our middle class,we need to bring them back and restore our america to be land of oportunity that we all deserve.

Vince D.
Vince D6 years ago


You just made a great argument for ending our stupid practice of granting citizenship to the children of non-citizens. Was that your intent?