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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