Georgia Governor Nathan Deal assumed activists from the Undocumented Student Alliance were undocumented immigrants during an awkward public appearance on Tuesday.
Gov. Deal was answering questions at an event hosted by the University of Georgia College Republicans, which provided him with pre-approved questions (video below).
However, an activist went off script and asked, “Gov. Deal, you spoke about protecting the HOPE Scholarship and you're a supporter of education, but why do you deprive undocumented immigrants who've lived here their entire lives from the right to come here and attend school with all of us?”
"It can only really effectively be dealt with by the federal government at the congressional level in dealing with the DREAM Act children, which I presume maybe you are," stated Gov. Deal, noted the Athens Banner-Herald.
“The policy of requiring that you be a legal state resident is one that's been in place for a very long time, and I think that you would find that it would be a policy if it were overturned it would be a huge concern for the residents of our state," said Gov. Deal. "And that's why I think the Board of Regents has continued to require that.”
Later, Gov. Deal added, "What I'm saying here is there is a fundamental problem that can only be solved at the congressional level and that is to deal with the issue of children, I presume you probably fit the category."
"I don't," stated another activist, reported Talking Points Memo. "I am not an illegal immigrant and I don't know why you thought that I was undocumented. Is it because I look Hispanic?"
"I apologize if I insulted you, I did not intend to," stated Gov. Deal. "It is an issue that I hope you continue to press in Congress. It is one of the issues that I believe it were a standalone issue, could be passed in Congress."