Just when you thought extremist rhetoric couldn’t get worse, it did. Late last week, a Tennessee state representative named Curry Todd compared immigrants to rats. That’s right—I couldn’t believe it either. On November 9, during testimony from Finance and Administration officials at a meeting of the Fiscal Review Committee, Todd asserted that giving U.S. citizen children of immigrants health coverage was a license for immigrants to “go out there like rats and multiply.”
Comparing human beings to vermin? Seriously? Regardless of how someone feels about the immigration issue, this kind of dehumanizing language is out of line.
Not only is Representative Todd’s statement extremely offensive to the parents and children of Tennessee—and throughout the country—it has no place in the public discourse. The demonization of immigrants is unacceptable, and as a community, we must respond.
Hold Representative Todd accountable for his derogatory statement toward immigrants and tell his party leadership that America does not stand for hateful rhetoric.
Representative Todd has not apologized, only saying that he should have used a more “palatable” term like “anchor babies.” This reprehensible phrase for United States citizens is equally offensive and unacceptable. Not one of Todd’s colleagues confronted or challenged him on this odious display of bigotry. So we are asking Todd’s party leadership to show us where they stand on his remarks.
Tell Tennessee party leaders that extremist language that dehumanizes and scapegoats immigrants is not acceptable and ask them for a public apology
Thank you for joining us in standing up against intolerance and bigotry.
A. Elena Lacayo
Immigration Field Coordinator