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Jeb On “Anchor Babies” Remark: I Meant To Insult Asians, Not Latinos!

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A visibly-irritated Jeb! Bush has at last clarified his controversial “anchor baby” remarks: I meant to insult Asians, not Latinos.


At a press conference on Monday in McAllen, Texas, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush hit back at reporter who challenged his use of the term “anchor babies” to describe U.S. citizen children of undocumented parents. When told, in Spanish, that many in the Latino community consider the term an offensive slur, Bush rolled his eyes and replied in Spanish: “Look, I know Hillary Clinton is attacking me for using that term, but it is ludicrous to suggest I’m using a derogatory term. What I was saying is that there are cases of real fraud in what we call ‘anchor babies.’ The parents organize to commit fraud and we have to enforce our laws.”

He added: “Frankly, it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country, having children, and taking advantage of a noble concept, which is birthright citizenship.

Bush gave his remarks in both English and Spanish — with key differences.

In his Spanish-language remarks, Jeb! tried to re-pull his Latino card, saying there was no way his use of “anchor baby” could be derogatory because he has a Mexican wife and Latino children:

But both were notably absent in the English-language remarks he gave to press immediately after, instead saying he’s “immersed in the immigrant experience.” Right, which is why he’s against the immigration actions giving millions of immigrant families relief from deportation and a chance to stay together in the only country they call home?

Pathetic excuses aside, Jeb! can now add Asian-American voters and their families to the growing list of Americans angry at his Trumpification. And, it could come at a devastating cost to him if he happens to make it to the general election. From Asian American Decisions:

Asian Americans used to be less than 1 million in number before the passage of immigration reform in the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act. Today, in a little over one long generation, they are well over 19 million. Sometime this year, perhaps even this very day, the 20 millionth Asian American in these United States will have been born or entered with papers through one of our airports or seaports.

20 million.

In fact, the population growth is so fast that it is literally outpacing Census Bureau predictions of that population growth. Here is an example. In 1999, the Census Bureau projected that the Asian American population pass the 18 million mark by 2020. As it turned out, the population exceeded that mark by 2012.

The pace of change is so rapid that Asian Americans are today the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in America. Between 2000 and 2010, the rate of growth for Asian Americans was 46 percent, outpacing Latinos, Pacific Islanders and any and all other groups.

Furthermore, since 2008, the largest feeder of population growth through legal immigration has Asia. For nearly as long as we have collected these data, the largest contributor had been the Mexico and Central America. But since 2008 more than 40 percent of total growth from in-migration has been of new Asian Americans.

The upshot of these growth rates is that sometime in the next few decades, Asian Americans will be 10% of the US population. One out of every ten Americans.

Combined with Latino and immigrant voters, that’s a whole lot of people to piss off, Jeb.

Watch the video of Jeb’s English-language remarks on “anchor babies” below.