The “Anchor Baby” Myth

There are no "anchor babies," there are only Americans.

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 Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are taking some heat for referring to children of undocumented immigrants who are born in the United States as “anchor babies”:

A feistier, combative Jeb Bush said Thursday that he doesn’t believe the term “anchor babies” is offensive and blamed Democrats for perpetuating the idea that it’s a loaded term.

In one of his most aggressive exchanges with reporters to date, Bush dismissed suggestions that the two-word term deemed offensive by many Hispanics and denounced by Democrats is improper.

“Do you have a better term? You give me a better term and I’ll use it,” he snapped at a reporter who asked him.

The former Florida governor first used the words Wednesday in a radio interview as he responded to questions about Donald Trump’s use of the term. To some, it describes people who immigrate illegally into the United States and give birth here to ensure U.S. citizenship for their child.

Bush told reporters after a town hall here that in the radio interview, “What I said is that it’s commonly referred to that. I didn’t use it as my own language. You want to get to the policy for a second? I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.”

Bush’s defense of the term is a sharp departure from how he usually discusses immigration reform and the broader national debate on the subject. As a longtime advocate for comprehensive changes to the immigration system, he speaks out frequently about the need for Republicans to strike a respectful tone when discussing the issue. His 2013 book on the subject, “Immigration Wars,” describes the complexities of illegal immigration at great length, but the two words in question are never used.

Until Wednesday’s radio interview, Bush had not uttered the words publicly on the campaign trail, according to a Washington Post review of his public comments.

On Thursday, he again bemoaned that so much of the immigration debate continues to get mired in rhetoric — even while defending the term.

“There are a lot of people who share the immigrant experience, and when they hear this, what they hear is: ’You don’t think I’m part of this. You don’t think I’m part of this country.’ I know that, I know that for a fact because I have hundreds of people who tell me that,” he said. “So I think we need to tone down the rhetoric a little bit, talk about solutions and get on with fixing things in this country.”

Concerns about the term are “a political wedge issue the left uses to win elections and we ought to be the party that solves this problem so that we can get back to the business of creating high-sustained economic growth.”

(…)

Adding to Bush’s odd defense of the term is that he’s been a member of a national Hispanic advocacy organization that has denounced the use of the term.

Bush helped launch the Hispanic Leadership Network, a center-right group seeking to build GOP support among Latino voters. He is still listed as a member of the national advisory board. In 2013, the group issued a memo titled, “Dos and Don’ts of Immigration Reform,” with tips on how Republican lawmakers should discuss immigration reform and avoid offending Latino voters.

A copy of the memo obtained by The Hill newspaper said that: “When talking about immigrants: Do use ‘undocumented immigrant’ when referring to those here without documentation. Don’t use the word ‘illegals’ or ‘aliens.’ Don’t use the term ‘anchor baby.’ “

Donald Trump was similarly unapologetic, albeit far more bombastic than the former Florida Governor:

Donald Trump lashed out at ABC reporter Tom Llamas on Thursday after the network aired segments critical of the presidential candidate’s use of the term “anchor babies” to describe the children of undocumented immigrants.

During a Wednesday town hall in New Hampshire, Llamas grilled Trump on the term.

“Are you aware that the term ‘anchor baby’ — that’s an offensive term. People find that hurtful,” Llamas said to Trump.

“You mean it’s not politically correct and yet everybody uses it?” Trump responded, adding that he would continue to use the term.

Some will likely argue that those complaining about the use of the term “anchor baby” are being hypersensitive, especially given the fact that it is term that has been used for quite some time now and has made its way into the popular culture in more ways than one. Even accepting that fact, though, it seems clear that referring to children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants as “anchor babies” is meant to diminish their status in some sense and use them as political pawns in the debate about illegal immigration. The people being referred to here aren’t abstractions to be tossed about in a political debate, they are American citizens, and indeed very vulnerable American citizens given their young age and the status of their parents, who could be deported at any moment. Some people understanding, of course, such as Marco Rubio, who pointed out that the people being referred to as “anchor babies” and “illegal immigrants” are, in the end, human beings and not political abstractions. In the world of immigration politics, though, that doesn’t really matter. Much like other large groups of people, they are just political abstractions to be tossed about.

At the heart of the whole “anchor baby” comment, of course, is the idea that when an undocumented immigrant mother gives birth her in the United States she automatically obtains some kind of defense against being deported. On the surface, I suppose, this makes sense because even the most restrictionist anti-immigrant pundit seems to think that splitting a family would be unacceptable and that deporting a child who is an American citizen would also be unacceptable. It’s also said that women and families come to the United States to give birth in order to use the child as a means of acquiring access to public benefits, notwithstanding the fact that studies have shown that immigrants, legal and illegal, use public benefits at a lower rate than citizens. Thus, the popular culture, and most especially those anti-immigration forces that have seemingly coalesed around Donald Trump, have created a story about immigrant women coming to the United States to give birth and then using the baby as an excuse to stay in the country and receive public benefits.

As it turns out though, there is no such things as an “anchor baby” defense to deportation:

 For illegal immigrant parents, being the parent of a U.S. citizen child almost never forms the core of a successful defense in an immigration court. In short, if the undocumented parent of a U.S.-born child is caught in the United States, he or she legally faces the very same risk of deportation as any other immigrant.

The only thing that a so-called anchor baby can do to assist either of their undocumented parents involves such a long game that it’s not a practical immigration strategy, said Greg Chen, an immigration law expert and director of The American Immigration Lawyers Association, a trade group that also advocates for immigrant-friendly reforms. That long game is this: If and when a U.S. citizen reaches the age of 21, he or she can then apply for a parent to obtain a visa and green card and eventually enter the United States legally.

(…)

If a person has lived in the United States unlawfully for a period of more than 180 days but less than one year, there is an automatic three-year bar on that person ever reentering the United States — and that’s before any wait time for a visa. So that’s a minimum of 21 years for the child to mature, plus the three-year wait.

And, for the vast majority of these parents, a longer wait also applies. If a person has lived in the United States illegally for a year or more, there is a 10-year ban on that person reentering the United States. So, in that case, there would be the 21-year wait for the child to mature to adulthood, plus the 10-year wait.

All told, the parents of the so-called anchor baby face a 24-to-31-year wait to even enter the United States, much less obtain a visa and green card or become a citizen.

More directly, if an undocumented immigrant is caught by authorities and put in deportation proceedings, the fact that they have a child who is an American citizen will not help them:

Immigration courts routinely reject claims that an undocumented parent must remain in the United States to care for a U.S. citizen child. The main but rare legal exceptions are for children who are so seriously ill or profoundly disabled that one parent must care for them full-time, or for a child in need of medical care unavailable in their parents’ home country.

These parents are given something called “humanitarian parole,” Chen explained. And this is very rarely applied to people already living in the United States illegally. It is more often given to the parents of, say, an Afghan war burn victim who want to accompany their child to the United States for medical care. And, even then, humanitarian parole is generally granted for limited period of time.

Alternatively, these parents can apply for something even more rare: an extreme hardship exception, according to Deborah Anker, a clinical professor of law and director of the Harvard University Law School’s immigration and refugee clinical program. Very rarely they can apply for a waiver that may allow them to reenter the United States sooner, Anker said. But if that request is denied, there is no form of appeal available. Decisions are final.

In other words, there is no “anchor baby” defense to deportation, and there are no such such things as “anchor babies.” There are only Americans, which is what these children are regardless of what Donald Trump and his supporters may think.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2016, Law and the Courts, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    This “anchor baby” issue is playing out in an interesting way. I think Democrats are best advised to let Republicans have the floor on this, and let them continue to shed Hispanic and Latino voter support.

    As a practical matter nothing is going to happen, the Constitution (14th Amendment) would have to be modified to effect any change, and that’s just not going to happen.

  2. humanoid.panda says:

    @al-Ameda: The funny thing is that with all the talk of Bernie surging, and e-mails and stuff, Hillary very likely already won the election this summer, with the GOP increasingly likely to repeat the same process that made romney dead meat for the general. Pretty much the only 2 ways in which I can see her losing is
    a) the e-mail thing revealing she sent lesbian assasins to Benghazi to cover up for her murder spree in the 1990s.
    b) China’s hard landing+ Fed insisting on raising rates creating a recession early in 2016.

  3. John Peabody says:

    Lesbians are HOT! Lesbian assassins are HOTTER! That wouldn’t hurt ol’ Hill’.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    a) the e-mail thing revealing she sent lesbian assasins to Benghazi to cover up for her murder spree in the 1990s.

    Wow, you finally tied these loose ends together – from Vince Foster to Benghazi. Well done.

  5. JKB says:

    True, if this was about people rather than politics. The “anchor baby” has been used to argue for letting the parents stay. And with the systematic suspension of the immigration laws under Obama, this is also a real risk. Trump is poisoning that well by associating the term with deceit and scheming the public’s mind. Probably, at some point, the “anchor baby” will be a negotiated compromise that starts the legalization process. As only Nixon could go to China, Trump, or perhaps another Republican who anchors a hard line will be the only ones to reform immigration without seeming to have been rolled. And, a major part of that reform will be a fence and stringent border control which was promised in the last amnesty program but immediately abandoned and ignored after the amnesty.

    I thought Trump was just a skilled media manipulator but I’m coming around to Scott Adam’s view that Trump is running his campaign as a system-oriented businessman rather than a goal-oriented politician. I’ve no conscious skill in such matters, but I have admit the few times I’ve had good negotiations, I did accidentally use the anchors Adam’s mentions in his post.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    I see that Hispanic outreach is going REALLY well, guys!

    (It seems that the US goes through a fit about “them aliens” every 30 years or so. First it was the Yellow Peril, then it was the Dagos and the Micks, now it’s them Messicans….

    We’re overdue for one of our periodic fits of insanity from the lumpenproletariat, obviously. The only reason there wasn’t a fit over “them Joos” from Europe in the 1940s was that we were in the middle of a war and the public face of a lot of those arriving was people like Einstein.)

  7. Pinky says:

    It doesn’t seem fair to lump Bush and Trump together in this, considering that this issue is the most visible of the campaign so far, and these two front-runners represent the starkest difference in positions. Yes, they both used the same phrase. But how does that make them comparable otherwise?

  8. Scott says:

    A feistier, combative Jeb Bush

    In one of his most aggressive exchanges with reporters to date

    To return to the thread of a couple of days ago, notice the contrast in language in describing Jeb Bush’s interactions with the press to the so-called touchy, defensive press interaction of Hilary Clinton.

    On another note:

    Donald Trump lashed out at ABC reporter

    At what point does the press have to stop taking abuse from someone like Trump and whomp him back on his BS?

  9. bookdragon says:

    @Scott: +100

    And did you see any of the barrage of tweets from Trump afterward? Talk about ‘testy’!
    …but of course that word could never be applied to him.

  10. steve says:

    “The “anchor baby” has been used to argue for letting the parents stay.”

    Yes. As Doug noted, unsuccessfully. Reading skills FTW.

    Steve

  11. Tillman says:

    @Scott: Yeah. If they had called Hillary “feisty,” the sexism complaints would’ve had no end. And they were both referred to as combative!

  12. Scott F. says:

    @Pinky:

    I’m with Pinky here. Bush used the term in reference to Trump using it. The uses aren’t remotely comparable. [Example 8,235 of a press more interested in point scoring than informing.]

    On the other hand, Bush isn’t completely off the hook. I found this quote enlightening:

    Immigration is …“a political wedge issue the left uses to win elections and we ought to be the party that solves this problem so that we can get back to the business of creating high-sustained economic growth.”

    Human lives hang in the balance, but we shouldn’t let that distract us from bringing in the Benjamins.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott:

    At what point does the press have to stop taking abuse from someone like Trump and whomp him back on his BS?

    When he stops delivering ratings. The media are whores and Trump is in effect paying them to keep their kneepads on.

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: And in fact Trump is now threatening to charge them for access.

    I have to say, in the three-way ding-dong match between the media, the RNC, and Donald Trump, one can only root for injuries.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve seen from Scott Adams. Does Mr. Adams not understand that we don’t have a dictator, just a president, a Congress, a Supreme Court, a permanent bureaucracy, a vast web of laws and treaties, a vaster web of constituencies, foreign allies, etc?

    It’s like trying to put a favorable spin on a ballet choreographer who decides to coach football with lots of pliés and grand jetées. We’re not analyzing it wrong, Trump doesn’t understand the game.

  16. bookdragon says:

    @Tillman: Actually ‘feisty’ is a lot better than ‘testy’. My grandmother was feisty and it was a positive description.

  17. humanoid.panda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s like trying to put a favorable spin on a ballet choreographer who decides to coach football with lots of pliés and grand jetées. We’re not analyzing it wrong, Trump doesn’t understand the game.

    Nah, he plays a totally different game. Most politicians think about 50%+1 of the electorate. Trump is a marketer/ reality star: he only thinks about capturing a market segment…
    Where Adams is wrong is that he presumes Trump has policy rather than marketing in mind.

  18. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: Also, with all his seeming sophistication and MBA language, Adams is making the same mistake lefties make when they debate Obamacare: they presume that if you start negotiation with a non-starter position, that will force the opponent to move towards you, while in the real world, it will make them walk.

  19. Franklin says:

    All told, the parents of the so-called anchor baby face a 24-to-31-year wait to even enter the United States, much less obtain a visa and green card or become a citizen.

    I think the problem is that “Anchor Twenty-Somethings” doesn’t have the same ring as “Anchor Babies”.

  20. Mercer says:

    “there is no “anchor baby” defense to deportation,”

    You have not been paying attention:

    “illegal aliens with U.S.-born children have been effectively exempt from deportation since 2011. Last November, the president took the next step, and decreed that nearly 5 million illegal aliens were to be granted work permits and Social Security numbers”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415468/ending-birthright-citizenship-mark-krikorian?target=author&tid=982

  21. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We’re not analyzing it wrong, Trump doesn’t understand the game.

    I respectfully disagree Michael. I also read Adam’s blog posts, and from a marketing perspective, the theory makes sense. Trump absolutely understands the game. I personally don’t believe for a minute he actually intends to do even half the things he’s “promising”. But hey, what that’s old marketing axiom … It doesn’t matter if they’re talking good about me, or bad about me, as long as they’re talking about me. 😉

    p.s. obviously, I don’t want Trump anywhere near the White House, but as a real life case study in master political marketing, it’s fascinating. I’m interested in watching him for the same reason I pretty much always say yes when the Kirby salesman calls … no interest in buying, but I definitely want to see what I can learn from the pitch.

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Americans just love the idea of some businessman bestriding the political world and imposing his will, “fixing” everything. But politics is a much tougher game than business. And Adams, an engineer of course, has no grasp of the seething morass of emotion that makes up the political world. This ain’t engineering, and it ain’t business, and when this is done it’ll be Trump who’s fixed. Fixed like a poodle.

  23. Todd says:

    BTW, as to the topic of the original post …

    I view people who use the term “anchor baby” in pretty much the same way I view those who still insist on keeping the confederate flag decal on their trucks. It’s a fairly reliable asshole meter.

  24. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB: Wow! You really are whacked. I expect that it is going to be really disappointing for you if Trump starts winning primaries and makes some lame excuse to drop out of the race.

    The systems oriented business man is not going to turn over his financial and business empire to caretakers.

  25. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pinky: I don’t see this as “lumping them together.” It is observing that the one has decided to go the demagogue route of the other. I would never lump them together–if for no other reason than simply because Trump’s campaign is far more consistent and well executed than Bush’s so far.

  26. Tillman says:

    @bookdragon: Huh. That’s a matter of opinion or region then. The words can describe almost the exact same thing: being ill-tempered. “Feisty” is not a good word to use for a woman around here.

    Well, unless she’s a feisty horse.

  27. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott F.:
    I agree that it’s unfair to tie the “anchor bay’ thing to Bush. I’m not, however, entirely sure I care. Fair is fair, GOPs should be victimized by the laziness of the supposedly liberal MSM too. And watching Jeb! Bush? squirm is way too much fun.

    What I object to, vehemently, is this statement from Bush.

    …so that we can get back to the business of creating high-sustained economic growth.

    When did GOPs ever have policies that promote growth? Remember that the Reagan miracle was the best performance we’ve seen from a GOP, and managed to accomplish just average growth. And Jeb’s daddy got booted from office for poor growth. And the good times under W weren’t very good, followed by collapse.

    Only good growth we’ve had is under Clinton. Wonder where we could find another one of them?

  28. humanoid.panda says:

    @Todd:

    respectfully disagree Michael. I also read Adam’s blog posts, and from a marketing perspective, the theory makes sense

    But that’s exactly why he is playing the game wrong: for a marketer, getting 30% of the market while pssing of everyone else is a great success. For a politician, it’s an epic disaster.

  29. Todd says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    For a politician, it’s an epic disaster.

    Time will tell.

    He’s playing an entirely different game. If he had gone out there with even an ounce of “political self-awareness” that caused him to hesitate or change his style, then one of Doug’s many predictions about his quick fade most likely would have already happened.

    It’s actually interesting in a broader perspective. When a politician makes a perceived “gaff”, is it really the gaff that does them in, or the way they handle the reaction?

  30. Scott says:

    @gVOR08: Well, the immigration issue is not the way forward to high sustained growth, probably just the opposite. And Bush knows this.

    I wonder which Republican candidate will come out with the other side of the immigration issue: demanding workplace raids. We don’t want sanctuary businesses, do we?

    I doubt that would happen because the right wing likes to punch down, not up.

  31. Todd says:

    btw, a HUGE part of Trump’s appeal to the Republican primary electorate is precisely because he’s saying things that piss off the type of people who mostly comment here on OTB. At this point in the game, saying outrageous things is a feature, not a bug.

  32. humanoid.panda says:

    @Todd: We are talking about two different things: I am talking about capturing the presidency ,and you about the republican primary. Yes, pandering to plurality of loons in the GOP primary can get you the nomination. However, as Mitt learned- that approach is a dead end when it comes to the general. A good politician always looks for both ,but Trump thinks like a media star who is convinced that it’s all business- and doesn’t realize that if he wins nomination, it will all be used against him.

  33. Todd says:

    There’s a difference between Trump and a normal politician. The reason the push to the right in the primary hurt Mitt Romney in the general election is precisely because he treated the things he said as “gaffs” .. and tried to backtrack, explain or otherwise soften the impact. Trump on the other hand, you could imagine just exclaiming “yes I said that, but when I’m President everything’s going to be great! … yada, yada, yada”

    If by some chance, the scenario reverts to what it “should be”, and Jeb Bush is the nominee, the things that Trump is forcing Jeb to say would DEFINITELY hurt him in the general election. With Trump, I’m just not so sure … especially if he’s running against Hillary Clinton. The contrast in how they handle “controversy” will be striking .. and not in her favor.

    Again, disclaimer: I don’t like the guy any more than most of you, and I definitely don’t want him to win. But I think that the way things have played out the past couple of weeks, it’s probably not terribly smart to underestimate the potential effectiveness (however surprising that is) of Donald Trump’s strategy. If he’s the Republican nominee, as someone who would prefer a Democrat in the White House, I would be legitimately concerned. Best case scenario is we end up with the Republicans nominating a very wounded Jeb Bush.

  34. JKB says:

    @steve:

    Doug noted the current legal environment for “anchor babies”. I was referring to the PR/political use, especially via Hollywood where the use in a storyline element of a US citizen chid of illegal immigrant parents arises quite frequently. Not the main theme but incidental characters.

  35. gVOR08 says:

    @Todd: While it is true that conservatism is all about opposing whatever liberals are for, updated weekly, Trump seems to be exploiting anger against the GOP establishment more than against liberals. (OK, in the minds of the base the GOP establishment ARE liberals, but whatever.) Saw good commentary this morning to the effect that Trump is against immigration and for SS/Medicare, while the GOP establishment hate SS/Medicare and like cheap labor. And only Trump can go here because he doesn’t need money from the establishment. (Except I can’t see him liquidating a chunk of his empire for this, so where will he get money?)

  36. Tyrell says:

    @humanoid.panda: Sanders is drawing huge crowds. Other people are looking to jump in and run. Hillary is in trouble. People are tired of hearing “its all over, everyone is going for Hillary, she has it locked up, forget it”.

  37. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    When did GOPs ever have policies that promote growth?

    I think his name was Eisenhower.

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Heh. That’s sort of like a Hollywood car crash, which invariably results in an explosion.

    Unfortunately the preponderance of car crash == explosion in movies convinced a lot of people to not wear seat belts while driving, with the standard results.

    Hollywood has a lot to account for.

  39. DrDaveT says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    But that’s exactly why he is playing the game wrong: for a marketer, getting 30% of the market while pssing of everyone else is a great success. For a politician, it’s an epic disaster.

    Yes, but he’s not a politician. He’s not running for President; he’s running for Trump. The GOP base and the media have not yet figured this out.

  40. de stijl says:

    @Todd:

    I view people who use the term “anchor baby” in pretty much the same way I view those who still insist on keeping the confederate flag decal on their trucks.

    You know what else isn’t a loaded term? Ignorant racist cracker.

    And if anyone objects, they’re just being a little hypersensitive, sissy betas.

  41. Barry says:

    @humanoid.panda: “China’s hard landing+ Fed insisting on raising rates creating a recession early in 2016.”

    That’s my main worry now.

  42. Barry says:

    @JKB: “And with the systematic suspension of the immigration laws under Obama, this is also a real risk.”

    Where ‘systematic suspension’ means ‘deporting lots of people.

    “Trump is poisoning that well by associating the term with deceit and scheming the public’s mind.”

    In other words, a liar, who reinforces lies and false beliefs.

    “Probably, at some point, the “anchor baby” will be a negotiated compromise that starts the legalization process. ”

    How does one have a ‘negotiated compromise’ on US citizenship?

    “As only Nixon could go to China, Trump, or perhaps another Republican who anchors a hard line will be the only ones to reform immigration without seeming to have been rolled. And, a major part of that reform will be a fence and stringent border control which was promised in the last amnesty program but immediately abandoned and ignored after the amnesty.”

    ‘As only Nixon could go to China’ is equivalent to ‘Munich!!!’. Nixon’s move was rather strategic, and unusual.

  43. Barry says:

    @Pinky: “It doesn’t seem fair to lump Bush and Trump together in this, considering that this issue is the most visible of the campaign so far, and these two front-runners represent the starkest difference in positions. Yes, they both used the same phrase. But how does that make them comparable otherwise?”

    Please reread the article, and keep in mind that ‘anchor babies’ are US citizens.

    What’s notable is that Jeb(!) was the biggest GOP politician in the base who did *not* kick Hispanics, but courted them. He’s had a 100% change of position.

  44. Barry says:

    @Scott F.: “I’m with Pinky here. Bush used the term in reference to Trump using it. The uses aren’t remotely comparable. [Example 8,235 of a press more interested in point scoring than informing.]”

    No. From the original article: “Do you have a better term? You give me a better term and I’ll use it,” he snapped at a reporter who asked him.”

    Since the proper term is ‘US citizen’, and Jeb(!) d*mn well knows it, he is being deliberately insulting and dishonest.

  45. Barry says:

    @humanoid.panda: “Also, with all his seeming sophistication and MBA language, Adams is making the same mistake lefties make when they debate Obamacare: they presume that if you start negotiation with a non-starter position, that will force the opponent to move towards you, while in the real world, it will make them walk.”

    Considering that Obama compromised many, many, many times, and the GOP reneged on agreements, ….

  46. M. Bouffant says:

    @gVOR08:

    (Except I can’t see him liquidating a chunk of his empire for this, so where will he get money?)

    This is the real/only question about Trump’s viability.

    And it may not be a concern until the PACs stop throwing good money after bad & the herd is thinned a bit.

  47. Tyrell says:

    @de stijl: I had never heard the term ” anchor baby” before this week. It has no negative images to me. What is wrong with the term anchor ?

  48. Anonne says:

    @gVOR08:

    Jeb’s daddy got whacked because he raised taxes when he said he wouldn’t. And that revenue increase paved the way for Clinton’s success, although Clinton took advantage of a peace dividend by scaling down the military. And no, Perot wasn’t a factor; Perot took Bush and Clinton voters in about equal percentages.

    That being said, Trump has mastered the art of speaking in slogans that are emotionally satisfying but ulitmately unworkable. He understands the Republican base, and that they like strength over all – they prefer leaders that do the strong thing, even if it is the wrong thing.

    Trump, scarily enough, is closer to reality on many economic issues than the rest of the GOP field. And by calling out the dirt in this process he is giving voice to people who are disaffected by the process. My own mother, who is very much a Democrat, likes listening to when he is talking about crony capitalism and the failed Iraq war. But on immigration and foreign policy, he’s orbiting Pluto or maybe riding Halley’s Comet. Trump is snookering a lot of people because he can say things that others can’t, because he doesn’t need their money. It’s a good and bad thing, and surprisingly makes him actually the best of the bunch.

  49. de stijl says:

    @Tyrell:

    What is wrong with the term anchor ?

    A. It’s incorrect. (See above for the 24 – 31 year waiting period).
    B. It assumes that a whole class of people want to have kids just to game the system in their favor.

    Suppose some people called the children of poor, rural white people “food stamp babies?”

    Would that be insensitive?

  50. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: Yeah, “anchor twenty-one-year-olds” just doesn’t quite have the same ring, somehow….

  51. Davebo says:

    Some will likely argue that those complaining about the use of the term “anchor baby” are being hypersensitive, especially given the fact that it is term that has been used for quite some time now and has made its way into the popular culture in more ways than one.

    Is there some other pop culture reference for anchor babies I missed? Do the kids talking about tying a baby to a rope and tossing it overboard to keep their boat from drifting?

    Is there some evening news show hosted by a baby?

    What other ways is it referenced Doug?

  52. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    It’s relatively immaterial that the phrase is incorrect, it’s the “assumes that a whole class of people…” bit.

    It’s the current-day equivalent of Reagan’s welfare queens driving Cadillacs and young bucks buying T-bones with food stamps.

    I.e., white identity politics. They’re not even dog-whistles, they’re just whistles.

  53. Stan says:

    Sorry if I’m hijacking the thread, but I wonder why our clergy can’t find it in themselves to address the moral questions involved in Trump’s proposal to deport 11 million people. Our spiritual leaders aren’t saying anything. It’s curious, like the dog that didn’t bark in the Sherlock Holmes story.

  54. TPF says:

    I just love how Doug always blames fellow Americans. Let’s face it, if people from other countries RESPECTED our laws there would be no issue with birthright citizenship. Anyway, in his eagerness to call fellow Americans racists, Doug overlooks a very important aspect of birthright citizenship. American taxpayers of ALL racial and ethnic background are expected to pick up the tab for a child that is born two hours after the mother illegally crosses our border (northern in this case). That’s what is frustrating Americans.

  55. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    When he stops delivering ratings. The media are whores and Trump is in effect paying them to keep their kneepads on.

    Why must you insult whores by comparing them to the media?

    Throughout history, America has gone through these nativist twinges. And it’s had some bad consequences (e.g., Jews being unable to immigrate here in the 1930’s). It’s disgraceful to see the Republicans playing to this. They will not be satisfied until the ugliness we saw last week in Boston is repeated all over the country.

  56. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stan: Well unfortunately, a significant portion of American Clergy may support Trump’s position. I would hope not, but I’m not as optimistic as I used to be.

    As for the others, they may not be able to get the attention of the media given all the Ashley Madison stuff and the scrambling to out-Donald Mr. Trump. Or they may not be taking Trump seriously yet. As noted by Mr. Reynolds in other posts, this may be a mistake.

  57. Andre Kenji says:

    Trump became a billionaire not because he is a master businessman. He became a billionaire because he knows how to sell an idea so that he can use other´s people money to enrich himself(More or less like Eike Batista or Richard Branson).

    He is doing to the voters and the media the same thing that he did to investors.

  58. DrDaveT says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Trump became a billionaire not because he is a master businessman. He became a billionaire because he knows how to sell an idea

    Actually, Trump became a billionaire because he inherited a quarter of a billion dollars. Even I could have managed that.

    That said, you’re right that Trump’s sales ability is his greatest asset. Anyone who can go bankrupt repeatedly has to have a mysterious ability to cloud men’s minds…

  59. JKB says:

    I don’t think Trump would be a good president. He may not really want to be president and would rather be the kingmaker. Right now, as Scott Adams surmised, Trump is defining the ground of the election including the middle ground where some compromise will happen. And that is good because the other Republican candidates would have played defense and ended up deep in Democrat territory. But Trump has brought the game, especially on immigration back into home territory and probably won’t have to give past the 50 yard line for most to call it a deal whomever ends up as the Republican candidate. And if the Republican refuses to stand the ground Trump has laid out, then Trump can, probably will, run as an independent giving the election to Hillary.

  60. ernieyeball says:

    Ten Years Ago at Outside the Beltway

    While the intent of those who wrote the 14th Amendment had nothing to do with immigration, illegal or otherwise, both the plain meaning of its language and the case law surrounding it make it clear that simply being born in the United States makes one a citizen.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/congress_debates_birthright_citizenship/

  61. An Interested Party says:

    But Trump has brought the game, especially on immigration back into home territory and probably won’t have to give past the 50 yard line for most to call it a deal whomever ends up as the Republican candidate. And if the Republican refuses to stand the ground Trump has laid out, then Trump can, probably will, run as an independent giving the election to Hillary.

    So let’s see…either the eventual GOP nominee paints himself as a nativist bigot or Trump runs a 3rd party campaign…either way, Hillary wins…

  62. Andre Kenji says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Inheritance per se explains a lot, but Trump also managed to convince people to give him money to make him rich.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-donald-trump-is-rich-and-youre-not-2015-07-27

    It´s not like that he is business savvy. He just knows to sell himself, More or less like a used car salesman.

  63. stonetools says:

    @ernieyeball:

    What that blast from the past shows is that Trump is tapping into a sentiment that has deep roots. Nativism and anti-immigrant hostility goes back a long way in American politics ( an entire 19th century party was organized around it) and ultimately goes back to the fear among white Anglo Saxon Protestants that they are losing the country to these swarthy foreigners. It’s another reason why Trump isn’t going away soon.

  64. de stijl says:

    @JKB:

    How exactly does one reach a compromise on the clearly stated 14th Amendment? Anyone born in the US is a citizen. That’s sort of non-negotiable.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: So…. Doug is talking about reality, and you are talking about fantasy, and somehow or other you think they are related. I am not surprised.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @TPF:

    Let’s face it, if people from other countries RESPECTED our laws there would be no issue with birthright citizenship.

    Well considering the FACT that they have more respect for our laws than most Americans, just exactly what are you trying to say?

  67. JKB says:

    @stonetools: the fear among white Anglo Saxon Protestants that they are losing the country

    As it turns out a misplaced fear, but understandable. This country was founded on the very fundamental basis of the ancient liberties of the Englishman, nee Anglo-Saxons. But it turns out they those ancient liberties are robust and now they are the ancient liberties of the English-speaking peoples. The liberties historically and perhaps continuing into the future co-opt invaders and immigrants alike. They did the the Norman invaders in England even as they ruled. They co-opted the papists who came to American, even the the Irish Catholics who had legitimate animosities against the English. The ancient liberties co-opted the continental European immigrant, the Hispanics who were both annexed and immigrated into the US, the Chinese workers and even many in the native tribes. They were embraced by the African slaves, who used them to force the end of the Democratic Party’s Southern apartheid and Northern discrimination.

    Oddly enough, it appears the biggest threats to the ancient liberties is from the offspring of the White upper-middle-class “intellectuals” who have adopted the Cavalier belief of special privilege for special born even as they espouse “equality”, when they really believe “some animals are more equal”. In this they have minority fellow travelers who find their profit in stirring unrest among their fellows.

  68. Barry says:

    @Stan: “Our spiritual leaders aren’t saying anything.”

    You’ve done a Google search and found nothing?

    Or you are just claiming that – likely honestly, because the ‘liberal’ media isn’t putting such statements on the front page, along with statements about Trump being ‘anti-christ(ian)’.

  69. Barry says:

    @JKB: “Oddly enough, it appears the biggest threats to the ancient liberties is from the offspring of the White upper-middle-class “intellectuals” who have adopted the Cavalier belief of special privilege for special born even as they espouse “equality”, when they really believe “some animals are more equal”. In this they have minority fellow travelers who find their profit in stirring unrest among their fellows.”

    American Calvinism. Salvation of the elite, with the elite designated by prosperity in this world.

  70. Barry says:

    “Or you are just claiming that – likely honestly, because the ‘liberal’ media isn’t putting such statements on the front page, along with statements about Trump being ‘anti-christ(ian)’.”

    Note – I wasn’t trying to be rude; it’s just that *of course* religious leaders are denouncing it. The ‘liberal’ media seems to be reluctant to print the statements of religious leaders who aren’t right-wingers as much as they happily print the statements of right-wing religious leaders.

  71. ernieyeball says:

    @stonetools:..What that blast from the past shows…

    Yes. That too.
    It was also meant as a poke at anyone who …had never heard the term ” anchor baby” before this week.

  72. The policy of the President of the United States is:

    ‘We’re going to offer the following deal,’ he said: ‘If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation.’

    And if you think his administration is not following the contours of that policy in reality, regardless of the status of any court case or cases, you are charlatans and fools.

  73. bill says:

    @grumpy realist: heck, it’s been going on a lot longer than that- cheech & chong used it in “up in smoke”.
    but seriously, for an illegal to cross the border for the sole purpose of having a child here is an abuse of the 14th- just my $.02.

  74. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Apparently the consensus is that approximately 40% of the undocumented did not sneak across the US border, but rather entered legally and overstayed their visas.

    Apparently fingerprinting tourists, students, and other foreign national entrants is not effective means of finding and deporting those folks.

    Consequently I anticipate that the next anti-immigrant effort will be to require tracking devices (ankle bracelets or subcutaneous implants or perhaps radioactive doping) to facilitate locating and deporting these abusers.

    On the other hand, maybe just using highway spot checks, toll booth operators “show me your papers” or EZ-Pass could be enabled.

    /sarcasm/

  75. Stan says:

    @Barry: I don’t believe that the press, liberal or conservative, systematically buries important news stores. But I did try an internet search, and I didn’t find anything recent about the reaction of religious figures to the immigration debate. But if you find a clerical response to Trump’s proposal for rounding up 11 million people and dumping them over the boundary, please share.

  76. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Oddly enough, it appears the biggest threats to the ancient liberties is from the offspring of the White upper-middle-class “intellectuals” who have adopted the Cavalier belief of special privilege for special born even as they espouse “equality”, when they really believe “some animals are more equal”. In this they have minority fellow travelers who find their profit in stirring unrest among their fellows.

    I agree, the Republican Party is home to most of the people who hold those beliefs.

  77. Matt says:

    @Andre Kenji: Not only did Trump inherent a large amount of money but he also inherited his dad’s connections. In a lot of cases it’s still not what you know but who you know.

  78. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stan: First, please note that I suggested reasons that church leaders might not be commenting. Turns out some (at least one) are:

    The Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore has raised concerns over Trump’s immigration comments, telling reporters that “Mexican immigrants are far more likely to be Bible-believing Christians than to be criminals.”

    (Sorry if the link doesn’t come out live, I’m not good at all this tech stuff.)

  79. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:
  80. An Interested Party says:

    They were embraced by the African slaves, who used them to force the end of the Democratic Party’s Southern apartheid and Northern discrimination.

    Indeed…and now the descendants of those African slaves hold sway within the Democratic Party while the descendants of those hideous racists who were Democrats now control the Republican Party…my how things change…

    for an illegal to cross the border for the sole purpose of having a child here is an abuse of the 14th…

    Oh please, and where is the proof of all of these people who are crossing the border solely for that reason? Your two cents isn’t even worth a penny…

  81. ernieyeball says:

    The Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore has raised concerns over Trump’s immigration comments, telling reporters that “Mexican immigrants are far more likely to be Bible-believing Christians than to be criminals.”

    Note to Citizen Moore.
    The United States Constitution (aka the supreme Law of the Land) does not require anyone to be a “Bible-believing Christian.”

  82. Stan says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Thanks. I think on this one the clergy will either oppose Trump or keep quiet.

  83. DrDaveT says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Oh please, and where is the proof of all of these people who are crossing the border solely for that reason?

    Oh, it’s pretty easy to gather evidence of it. The problem is, most of the people doing it are wealthy Chinese, not poor Latinos. It kind of messes up the intended narrative.

  84. DrDaveT says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Inheritance per se explains a lot, but Trump also managed to convince people to give him money to make him rich.

    Yes, but that was only possible because he was already rich. Nobody lends billions to poor people.

    When you are rich, it is trivially easy to become more rich. And, as Trump demonstrates, it’s not that hard to make other people pay for that.

  85. JohnMcC says:

    @Stan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary_movement

    When sending central-american refugees back to their homelands that were ravaged by President Reagan’s death squads was U.S. policy, the clergy were active in something called the ‘sanctuary movement’. Somewhat improved conditions in those nations at present and our distinct anti-immigration sentiment make it more difficult for them to duplicate that action today.

    Never forget, they know what was in the offering plate last Sunday.

  86. the Q says:

    George Carlin had a hilarious bit about language and the obfuscation and distortion that crops up.

    He used the term “shell shock” from WW1. Two syllables which described exactly the trauma men came home with. Decades later it was turned into “post traumatic stress disorder.” 400% increase in verbiage

    “Wet back” is now “undocumented immigrant”.

    i would bet many a month’s pension that 99% of those commenting here about immigration have never been fired or downsized because of cheap labor from illegals.

    Not many African American janitors or white wall hangers/plasterers/construction workers posting here is my bet.

  87. JohnMcC says:

    @the Q: Not many jewish prize-fighters either, yet they once were quite common. You want to see all the African-American janitors pass on their jobs to their sons and grand-sons, is that your point? Do you recognize and @ssh*le when you look in the mirror?