Lauren Johnson, KSAZ-TV (Phoenix), Nov. 11, 2010
A Tennessee lawmaker is in hot water after making some racial remarks in session on Tuesday. Representative Curry Todd, who represents Collierville, compared pregnant, illegal immigrants to multiplying rats.
He said they are ushered into the U.S. healthcare system without being checked for citizenship. He’s angry, and so is the Hispanic community.
The conversation started about healthcare and verifying citizenship for pregnant, illegal immigrants.
“According to the federal government, we cannot ask for immigration documents or verify that information because we are providing coverage to the unborn,” said a member of the Fiscal Review Committee.
Not the answer representative Curry Todd wanted to hear.
“We can go out there like rats, and multiply them, I guess,” said Todd.
On the phone, from Nashville, Todd explained what he meant.
“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.
“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,” said Todd.
Francisco Correa, the editor of La Prensa Latina here in the Bluff City, said his beliefs are up for debate, in a more respectful way.
Correa said the comments are insulting to the entire Hispanic community.
“I’m sorry if other people got offended but I’m not going to be hooked up in political correctness,” said Todd.
(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.”
But Sidney Mendelson, publisher of The Bilingual Newspaper, said an apology is not enough.
“This person needs to be removed from office, and there is no apology needed,” said Mendelson.
Readers are encouraged to send a message of support to Rep. Todd at the address below.