A new video of Representative Scott DesJarlais is going viral, approaching 70,000 hits on YouTube as of Tuesday morning.
The video was shot at a town hall meeting in Rutherford County last week.
A little girl named Josie Molina asks him what she can do so her undocumented father can “stay with me.”
DesJarlais answer sparked applause from the crowd, but has created some serious criticism for the lawmaker online.
“We have laws, and we need to follow those laws and you know, that's where we're at,” he responded.
The girl was one of about 80 immigrants who attended the town hall meeting.
Tuesday morning, DesJarlais released a statement regarding the video. He said, “I felt I owed Ms. Molina an honest answer to her question. We are a nation of laws and breaking those laws have consequences.”
He continued, “While this country has always had a generous immigration policy, we simply cannot condone individuals coming here illegally. As a member of Congress, I strongly believe I have a responsibility to be truthful, even if that means delivering difficult news.”
Some immigration groups say the issue is not as cut and dry as DesJarlais suggests.
Click here to view the clip from the town hall meeting on YouTube.