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House Member Likens Undocumented Immigrants to Vagrants, Animals

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Rep. Jeff Duncan has since insisted the comments were meant as a simple analogy between securing your home and securing the border.

CREDIT: Facebook / Jeff Duncan

A South Carolina congressman recently likened undocumented immigrants to vagrants and animals in an awfully misguided comparison during an event with college students.

Rep. Jeff Duncan made the remarks earlier this week during a question-and-answer session at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. A Greenville News article quotes him as saying:

It’s kind of like having a house—and you’re not homeowners, a lot of folks in this room, but your Mom and Dads are—taking the door off the hinges and allowing any kind of vagrant, or animal, or just somebody that’s hungry, or somebody that wants to do your dishes for you, to come in. And you can’t say, ‘No you can’t come in.’ And you can’t say, ‘No you can’t stay all night.’ Or ‘No you can’t have this benefit of using my deodorant.’ All those things. We’re giving those benefits away, which we earn as citizens of this nation, of being legalized citizens.

Duncan’s spokesperson later tried to recast the comments, telling the Greenville News that it was simply an analogy between homes and nations: “A border with no fence is like a house with no doors, where anyone or anything can come and go as they please. … It would be both incorrect and extremely unfortunate to assign any other meaning to the Congressman’s remarks.”

South Carolina’s controversial immigration law is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2012; the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit recently challenging the legislation.

Brian Stewart is the Communications Director at Generation Progress. You can follow him on Twitter @brianstewart.

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