WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 24, 2015) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates condemns Governor Jeb Bush’s comments regarding ‘anchor babies’.
Earlier today, Presidential candidate and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, claimed birthright citizenship 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.” This follows his earlier statement that the term ‘anchor baby’, a derogatory term used to describe the children of undocumented immigrants, was not offensive.
“Our immigrant communities have consistently been painted as an invasion force and the use of the term ‘anchor baby’ is a clear example of this,” said Michael W. Kwan, OCA National President. “Governor Bush has now doubled down on his original insensitivity with the use of the derogatory term ‘Anchor Baby’ by characterizing ‘Asian People’ as a whole as non-citizens looking to take advantage of the system. This faulty rhetoric makes millions of law-abiding Asians a target for anti-immigrant and xenophobic attitudes, which will help spread the myth that Asian Americans are somehow less American than white Americans.”
“When Governor Bush claims the term ‘anchor babies’ is not offensive, he is completely incorrect with respect to Asian Americans. To suggest that an American child born in this country not by his or her own choice is somehow less worthy simply due to the immigration status of the infant’s parents is an ugly, hurtful and legally incorrect position that should never take place in our civic discourse. Using Asian Americans to deflect attention from his use of an offensive and derogatory classification may salvage a few political points now, but Governor Bush and other political candidates who embrace such demeaning labels should understand that you offend Asian Americans in general when you espouse rhetoric which dehumanizes and degrades us,” concluded Kwan.
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).