Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala) is coming under fire for saying that he would do anything necessary to halt illegal immigration short of shooting undocumented immigrants.

As your congressman on the House floor, I will do anything short of shooting them, Brooks said to WHNT, an Alabama TV station. Anything that is lawful, it needs to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American citizens.

Brooks' inflammatory comments drew reprimands from other lawmakers, who warned that his rhetoric was detracting from reasonable debate and could foment violence.

Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, (D-Texas) head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, noted that words have consequences and faulted Brooks for irresponsible words that reflect a hateful, dehumanizing undercurrent.

The remarks underscore an increasingly heated debate over immigration. Several states are facing court challenges over tough new enforcement laws that advocates have denounced as overly harsh and discriminatory, particularly in Alabama. Proponents have argued that measures in the Alabama law like a provision requiring schools to check the status of students are necessary safeguards.

They have no right to be here, Brooks said in the same interview. They are clogging up our emergency rooms, and making our education system more expensive. If you go to the Madison County Jail, there are far too many illegal aliens there because they have victimized Americans.