POLITICS

Congressman Under Fire After Saying Immigrants Multiply "Like Rats"

FILE - In this May 7, 2009 file photo, Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, standing, talks with Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, bottom, during a session of the Tennessee House of Representatives in Nashville, Tenn. Todd likened illegal immigrant births to rats multiplying while he was questioning state officials at a committee hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

FILE - In this May 7, 2009 file photo, Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, standing, talks with Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, bottom, during a session of the Tennessee House of Representatives in Nashville, Tenn. Todd likened illegal immigrant births to rats multiplying while he was questioning state officials at a committee hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

A Tennessee lawmaker is under fire by Hispanic groups after he said immigrants are "like rats and multiply."

The Commercial Appeal reports Memphis Hispanic groups and their supporters stood outside the home of Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville on Thursday.

Todd made the comments earlier this week while he was questioning state officials at a committee hearing about whether the state-funded Cover Kids program checked citizenship before paying for health care. He was told that the federal government didn't allow it for prenatal care because any child born in the U.S. is a citizen.

Todd said that means the immigrants can "go out there like rats and multiply."

When contacted by The Associated Press, Todd said he was wrong to use that choice of words.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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