Tennessee State Rep. Curry Todd took his dissatisfaction with the birthright citizenship clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to a strange level this week, when he suggested that pregnant immigrants will "multiply" like "rats" if they are not asked about their citizenship status.
During a discussion about procedures for approving patients for health care access, Todd asked a panel of prenatal health care officials if they require potential patients to show proof of citizenship in order to be accepted for treatment.
One woman then explained that such a process is not necessary -- and is in fact prohibited -- because unborn children will become United States citizens upon birth.
"There's a technical guidance letter that states that, for covering the unborn child, we are not permitted to determine citizenship because the child, once born, is a U.S. citizen," the woman explained.
"They can go out there like rats and multiply, then," Todd responded.
According to the Associated Press, Rep. Todd later agreed that he had used harsh wording.
"I was actually wrong, and I admit when I'm wrong," Todd said, before clarifying that he should have used the term "anchor babies" instead -- presumably in an entirely different sentence.
He then qualified that statement, however, by saying that the issue is actually a serious concern that needed to be addressed.
Many in the GOP, like Rep. Todd, have voiced strong concern over the 14th Amendment. ThinkProgress reported in October that 130 congressional Republicans favored ending birthright citizenship, not including a swath of newly elected GOPers.