During a town hall meeting in his home state of Wisconsin, Rep. Paul Ryan decided to continue the Republican Party’s efforts to “reach out to minorities,” referring to babies that are born in the United States to undocumented immigrants as “anchor babies.”
To the anchor baby issue—they call it anchor babies—which is when a person comes, has a child here,” he began, while answering a question. “If you’re born here, you’re a naturalized citizen. You have to change the Constitution… But it’s really treating a symptom, right? People are coming across the border illegally or overstaying their visas. And therefore illegal immigration is fairly easy, and then people are having what’s called anchor babies.
The “anchor babies” slur has been categorized as offensive by the American Heritage dictionary.
In explaining their December 2011 decision, they described the term as: “Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a non-citizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child’s birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother’s or other relatives’ chances of securing eventual citizenship.”
Although this isn’t the first time that the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee has used the term, the language is surprising given the fact that he has emerged as an immigration reform leader in the house, and that these recent comments came while he was actually touring Wisconsin and holding town halls in order to make the conservative pitch for immigration reform.
In 2012, Rep. Ryan got in earful from a constituent after saying “catch and release” in reference to immigrants:
His support, and that of his constituents, is very important to the issue of immigration reform because the Senate has already introduced bipartisan legislation and now the onus is on the House of Representatives to move forward on the issue.
Of course, Rep. Ryan is in good company within the Republican Party, as Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann loves to use the racial slur amidst her usual demagoguery, and another Representative, Don Young (R-AK), used the term “wetbacks” when describing the migrant workers that his father used to employ on his ranch to pick tomatoes.
While we know that his constituents find it amusing and even cheer representative Ryan’s xenophobic slurs towards Latino immigrants, it is up to Progressives to make some noise about it and make sure that he faces some heat over his irresponsible comments. Please do your part by sharing this and other related articles on social media.
Watch the video of his recent xenophobic comments here: