Governor Deal's comment during UGA forum sparks controversy - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Governor Deal's comment during UGA forum sparks controversy

Generic photo of Gov. Nathan Deal Generic photo of Gov. Nathan Deal
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Governor Nathan Deal has come under fire after making a statement that a Hispanic student attending a UGA forum was an illegal immigrant.

Deal addressed a variety of topics, including immigration, during a question and answer session sponsored by the UGA College Republicans Tuesday night.

"There's a fundamental problem that can only be resolved at the Congressional level and that is to deal with the issue of children, and I presume you probably fit the category, children who were brought here," said Deal who was looking toward Lizbeth Miranda, a Hispanic student who was standing up with others asking questions.

"I'm not an illegal immigrant. I'm not," said Miranda. "I don't know why you would have thought that I was undocumented. Was it because I look Hispanic?"

The governor replied: "I apologize if I insulted you. I did not intend to."

Miranda is a member of the Undocumented Students Alliance. Group members said they found the governor's statement offensive.

"Just because they're standing up for undocumented immigrants doesn't mean they're undocumented and the fact that he assumed that doesn't speak well to me about his policies or his opinion towards immigrants in general," said student Kevin Ruiz.

"I think realistically he'll have to do some political backtracking as he prepares for the campaign, because the Hispanic community is getting very large in Georgia so he's going to have to cover himself there," said Carver Goodhue, also a group member.

Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Deal, said the governor directed his comment to Goodhue, a white male, not to Miranda.

"The governor was trying to have a civil conversation with a group determined to have a confrontation," said Robinson.  "He was courteous and civil. The entire thing was misrepresented. They were trying to ambush him."

[The video of the meeting inside the story was provided by Flagpole Magazine.]

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Kat: Another soggy weekend

    Kat: Another soggy weekend

    Saturday, February 17 2018 1:51 PM EST2018-02-17 18:51:01 GMT

    Good morning and happy Saturday! We're off to a cool start this morning with overcast skies and temperatures in the low 40s.

    More >>

    Good morning and happy Saturday! We're off to a cool start this morning with overcast skies and temperatures in the low 40s.

    More >>
  • 4 arrested in connection to a string of vehicle thefts

    4 arrested in connection to a string of vehicle thefts

    Friday, February 16 2018 4:45 PM EST2018-02-16 21:45:50 GMT
    Three adult males and one juvenile were arrested in Limestone County on Thursday after a four-hour manhunt and charged with multiple counts stemming from a string of vehicle thefts.Three adult males and one juvenile were arrested in Limestone County on Thursday after a four-hour manhunt and charged with multiple counts stemming from a string of vehicle thefts.

    A ground search ensued that lasted about four hours and covered approximately six miles, ending a few hundred yards east of Hays Mill Road where the suspects were caught in a hunting stand/shoot house.

    More >>

    A ground search ensued that lasted about four hours and covered approximately six miles, ending a few hundred yards east of Hays Mill Road where the suspects were caught in a hunting stand/shoot house.

    More >>
  • 2 juveniles arrested for making terrorist threats, Limestone Co. Sheriff reports

    2 juveniles arrested for making terrorist threats, Limestone Co. Sheriff reports

    Friday, February 16 2018 3:29 PM EST2018-02-16 20:29:54 GMT

    Just before 2 p.m. Friday, the Limestone County Sheriff's Office reported via Twitter that two juvenile students had been arrested for making terrorist threats. 

    More >>

    Just before 2 p.m. Friday, the Limestone County Sheriff's Office reported via Twitter that two juvenile students had been arrested for making terrorist threats. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly