The last 24 hours have seen the immigration debate quickly shift from questions of birthright citizenship to the semantic debate of how one should describe those children born in the United States to noncitizens.
With Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush using the term “anchor babies” in a radio interview he gave yesterday (“If there’s abuse, if people are bringing — pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement. That’s [the] legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don’t have these, you know, ‘anchor babies’, as they’re described, coming into the country.”), political opponents and those who believe that “anchor babies” is a derogatory term have been calling out the Florida governor, who last year said that those undocumented parents who come to this country do it as an “act of love“ for their families.
The same day Bush said “anchor babies,” fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump also used the term, when he said, “There’s a very big question to the anchor babies,” and repeated the term several times after that.
This afternoon, Bush told reporters in New Hampshire he didn’t regret using “anchor babies” in his interview. This is what The Hill reported:
“Do you regret using the term ‘anchor babies’ yesterday on the radio?” one reporter asked.
“No, I didn’t — I don’t, I don’t regret it. No, do you have a better term?” Bush retorted.
“I’m asking you…” the reporter began to respond.
“You give me a better term and I’ll use it, I’m serious,” Bush said.
“Is that not bombastic language, ‘anchor baby?’ Is that not bombastic?” another reporter questioned.
“No, it isn’t. Give me another word,” Bush replied.
“Here’s the deal, what I said was it’s commonly referred to that, that’s what I said, I didn’t use it as my own language,” he added.
“What we ought to do is protect the poor kid. You want to get to the policy for a second? I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.”
CNN also published a video of Bush’s comments to reporters:
When news of Bush’s exchange started making the rounds, the Twitter profile of Hillary Clinton tweeted this:
How about “babies,” “children,” or “American citizens.” https://t.co/ofxEG6Za00
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 20, 2015
In addition, Trump was challenged today by ABC News’ ABC’s Tom Llamas when asked if the candidate thought the term was offensive:
Last year, CNN’s Chris Cuomo used the same term several times on live TV and eventually had to issue an apology.
What do you think of this debate? Add your comments below or tweet me @julito77.