When GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush said his use of the term "anchor babies" relates mostly to Asians, not Hispanics, rival candidate Donald Trump slammed him for trying to weasel his way out of being politically incorrect and offensive towards potential Hispanic voters.
Trump tweeted: “Asians are very offended that JEB said that anchor babies applies to them as a way to be more politically correct to hispanics. A mess!”
Several minutes later Trump tweeted again: “In a clumsy move to get out of his "anchor babies" dilemma, where he signed that he would not use the term and now uses it, he blamed ASIANS”
Still not done bashing Bush, Trump tweeted again several hours later: “Jeb Bush just talked about my border proposal to build a "fence." It's not a fence, Jeb, it's a WALL, and there's a BIG difference!”
The term "anchor baby," which refers to babies born on U.S. soil getting automatic citizenship despite the fact that their parents entered the country illegally, has generally been used in relation to illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. But according to CNN, Bush says he was referring to recent federal investigations into Chinese "birth tourism."
Bush explained, "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 efforts taking advantage of a noble concept which is birthright citizenship. I support the 14th amendment."
Trump claimed Tuesday morning that Bush had said he would not use the term "anchor baby" because some Hispanics consider it offensive.
The New York Times has reported on numerous cases of federal agents raiding southern California locations where "birth tourism" businesses were being operated.
Affidavits related to the federal investigation describe an operation where pregnant Chinese women will pay up to $60,000 to fly to the U.S., get housing and prenatal care, and obtain the proper documents for their newborns to be certified as legal U.S. citizens and have passports.
These birthing operations can be so extensive that their locations are referred to as "maternity hotels," and in 2012, an estimated 10,000 babies were born to Chinese nationals in the U.S, up from 4,200 four years before according to Chinese state media.
Why are Chinese mothers paying so much to give birth here?
According to CNN Money, many families want their child's American passport to be their ticket out of China to escape future problems there. With a U.S. passport, an American-born Chinese child can return to the U.S. and "sponsor their parents when they turn 21," according to University of California, Berkeley law professor Leti Volpp.
Having a second child in the U.S. also allows Chinese couples to work around China's one-child policy.
Was Jeb Bush right to relate Asians to "anchor babies" after saying he'd avoid the term in relation to Hispanics? Was Trump right to scold him? Do you think the abuse of automatic citizenship for babies born in the U.S. is a signal that we should change that policy?