Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress, slammed GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush Tuesday for defending his use of the term “anchor baby” by arguing that the term “is more related to Asian people.”
“No matter which ethnic group you’re referring to, ‘anchor babies’ is a slur that stigmatizes children from birth,” Chu said in a statement Tuesday.
A day earlier Bush defended his use of “anchor babies” by pointing to abuses of America’s birthright citizenship policy perpetrated by birth tourists — or foreigners who pay to give birth in the U.S. so that their offspring can claim U.S. citizenship and all the benefits that go with it.
“What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there’s organized efforts — and frankly it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country, having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of a noble concept with birthright citizenship,” Bush said during a visit to Texas.
According to Chu, the chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, birthright citizenship is not the problem. The problem is a failure to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. “in fear.”
“The problem is a broken immigration system that forces families to live apart or live in fear,” she said. “We need a conversation that leads to a solution on visas and naturalization and seriously considers how we can integrate the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants already living and contributing here.”
Chu concluded by arguing that the term “anchor baby” is xenophobic and damaging.
“All that is accomplished through talk of anchor-babies – be they from Latin America, Asia, Europe, or Africa – is to use xenophobia to further isolate immigrants,” she said. “It’s time for our country to return to a substantive discussion on immigration.”