The conga line of clown-like Republican presidential candidates has moved from a state of ludicrous ridiculousness to pure, flat-out and unapologetic racism proving the party has no limits when it comes to offending.
Reality star Donald Trump, leading the parade of fanatics, has initiated a trend among the candidates to carelessly and shamelessly blurt out racial slurs without any real consideration for who they are disrespecting.
Earlier this week, Trump questioned whether “anchor babies” a derogatory term for children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants, should be considered legitimate American citizens. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush followed the racist rhetoric calling for “better enforcement so that you don’t have these, you know, ‘anchor babies,’ as they’re described, coming into the country.” And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stated on Thursday that he is “happy to use” the term “anchor babies.”
Bush arrogantly defended using the term when questioned by a reporter.
"Do you have a better term? You give me a better term and I'll use it," he said.
How about "babies," "children," or "American citizens." https://t.co/ofxEG6Za00— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 20, 2015
The term was added to the American Heritage Dictionary in 2011 and determined as value-neutral, but the definition was updated to characterize that it is indeed a pejorative term.
The term "anchor baby" is disgusting and dehumanizing. I can't believe anyone in "mainstream" American politics uses it.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 19, 2015
Not only are Republicans casually tossing around a racial slur as if this is the 1940 and that sort of thing is socially acceptable (note: no matter what time period it is, racism should never be tolerated), but the politicians are clearly ignorant of the fact that the idea of “anchor babies” is relatively untrue.
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Known as birth tourism, some wealthy foreigners do indeed travel over to the U.S. and give birth to their children in order to secure an American passport for their offspring, according to Politifact. But these birth tourists are not the ones that Trump and other Republican presidential candidates are referring to. These tourists come into the U.S. legally, most are Asian (not Hispanic as the racism contends) and are not typically the ones crossing the Rio Grande.
In addition, undocumented immigrants who have children in the U.S. are not “anchored” to their children as the term suggests.
Under U.S. law, an American child born to undocumented immigrants must wait until he or she is 21 to petition for the parent’s U.S. citizenship. And as the Christian Science Monitor notes, the process is not a smooth one.
“A child who reaches 21 can then apply for a visa or green card for their parent to reside in America. That will be approved only if the parents can prove they’ve been living legally outside the US. If they’ve been in the shadows for decade, raising their kids, they’re required to wait longer. If the parent has lived illegally in the US for a year or greater, they can’t reenter the US for a decade. So the total wait time to a green card for the undocumented parent of a child born in the US can stretch up to 31 years.”
In the meantime, these parents are often deported and the children end up in foster care. In 2011, 46,000 parents were deported and 5,100 children were in foster care.
They're called babies. https://t.co/VyJJA26OVl— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 19, 2015
Yet despite the assumption that illegal immigrants are coming in droves to the U.S., having babies and staying here is overwhelmingly inaccurate, the Republican presidential candidates continue to use this flawed narrative to support overturning birthright citizenship. And while their justification of policies is usually based in incorrect biases, they’ve stepped into even deeper waters by defending their decisions to use racist language.
Read more: 4 Ways GOP's Undermining of Obama Is Racist
Banner photo credit: Gage Skidmore