One of the most frequent targets in the Georgia GOP gubenatorial primary has been undocumented immigrants. Candidates have repeatedly harped on the threat of undocumented immigrants voting in Georgia’s elections, and have even used dirty tactics to unfairly disenfranchise legal voters — the overwhelmingly majority of whom were racial minorities, according to the Department of Justice — in the name of stopping the undocumented from voting. This scare-mongering climbed to new, dangerously racially-tinged heights this past Saturday when gubenatorial candidate Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) cited complaints about “ghetto grandmothers” as the reasoning behind proof-of-citizenship legislation he is supporting:
DEAL: We got all the complaints of the ghetto grandmothers who didn’t have birth certificates and all that. We wrote some very liberal language as to how you can verify it. My mother was born in 1906 and she didn’t have a birth certificate. They didn’t give birth certificates back then. But we got her one, because you can do it under the proper procedures of your state.
This morning, Deal released a statement in response to the uproar his comment has created: “I regret my choice of words and in no way meant to offend anyone.”