The Tennessee report has discussed the comments of a Tennessee state representative thus:
Rep. Curry Todd remarked during a Fiscal Review Committee presentation this week that the idea of government-funded care for pregnant women [Mexican immigrants] who cannot prove they have United States government permission to be in this country struck him as not unlike inviting a rat infestation. The Collierville Republican made the comments after asking CoverKids program managers whether the state checks the citizenship status of care recipients. . . . [They] responded that CoverKids doesn’t provide medical coverage to pregnant women, but it does offer “unborn coverage …. ”Rep. Todd responded: “Well, they can go out there like rats and multiply, then, I guess.”
I hardly know what to say. You know I favor a single-payer healthcare system. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with people receiving care, regardless of citizenship or birth status. But everybody should find these comments abominably reprehensible:
I did find others who had an easier time expressing themselves:
Rep. Curry Todd: Who's the Real Rat Here?Now mind you, this guy is "pro-life" but claims he's concerned about "anchor babies." The problem with that is that the whole notion of "anchor babies' offensive to many and a myth created by anti-immigration nativists, and it's nonsense that doesn't account for facts (pdf). I gotta raise my hand as one who's offended by the term. Especially since I cannot imagine that immigration from southern Europe, though drastically decreased from previous decades, remained within legal bounds after the immigration act of 1924.
Posted by Betsy Phillips on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 12:30 PM
Lind has this choice quote from Collierville Rep. Curry Todd up at Post Politics:
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, it's not them.”Now, I realize this whole incident — starting with his remarks earlier this week comparing undocumented immigrant mothers-to-be to multiplying vermin — has proven that Todd's not a very thoughtful guy. But he's in the state legislature. Shouldn't he have some basic understanding of how our state works?
Does he not know we don't have an income tax?
If you buy things here in Tennessee, you are a taxpayer in Tennessee, regardless of your legal status. This idea that there are two discrete groups — taxpayers of Tennessee, and people whose residency gives them access to our services — is breathtakingly false.
Regardless of how you feel about the immigration issues, there's no need to lie. If you live here and you buy things, you are a taxpayer at the state level. And so you are indeed having to pay for programs.
To say otherwise either reveals a politician as incredibly stupid or a liar.