Jeb Bush's "Anchor Baby" Comments Show How Surprisingly Out Of Touch The Candidate Is Despite His Progressive Immigration Stance
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was asked about his use of the term "anchor baby" and whether or not he regretted using such offensive phrasing. Rather than apologize for his statements, Bush instead doubled down on what he'd initially said. Jeb Bush's "anchor baby" immigration comments are ridiculous, and so is his defense of them.
Bush used the term on the conservative radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America on Wednesday while describing all that's wrong with the current path to citizenship in the country. Speaking with Bennett, Bush had this to say:
If there’s abuse, 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.
A reporter asked Bush about his comments in Keene, to which Bush replied, "You give me a better term and I’ll use it." By simply calling children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants exactly that rather shortening it to an insulting two-word phrase, Bush would not only avoid this unneeded controversy but set himself apart from Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who used the exact same logic when defending his use of the term "anchor babies" as well.
According to ABC News, Bush should have been primed to be sensitive to such language. He was one of the founding members of the Hispanic Leadership Network, a group whose purpose is to educate the Hispanic community on center-right issues. He co-chaired their first conference in 2011 and, two years later, oversaw the release of a memo on the "do's and don'ts of immigration reform," which includes a section that explicitly condemns the use of "anchor babies." Although it offers no alternatives, the memo does suggest simply using the term "undocumented immigrants" when describing someone who is not legally in the country.It's a simple solution that Bush refuses to utilize for the sake of sheer laziness. Bush's defense also extended to the fact that he was referring to other people, saying that "anchor babies" is a phrase that is "commonly referred to." No matter how frequently Bush may have heard such a statement be made, that doesn't make it any less offensive based on the amount of people saying it. By using "anchor babies," Bush not only alienates an entire voter population he's worked hard to align himself with but obscures his own message on immigration reform all for the sake of using what he sees as simpler language.