Will Bredderman, Observer, August 25, 2015
Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng and California Congresswoman Judy Chu tore into former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for his claim yesterday that Asian people were responsible for the phenomenon of “anchor babies”–children born to foreign nationals on American soil, making the infants American citizens with the potential to gain legal status for their families.
Ms. Meng and Ms. Chu, both members of the Democratic minority in Congress, used the remarks to broadly attack the Republican presidential field and leadership in the Capitol during a conference call with reporters this afternoon. Mr. Bush, a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination, argued yesterday during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border that his criticism of birthright citizenship was not directed at Latinos, but that “frankly, it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country having children in that organized effort.”
Ms. Meng quoted a passage from the Republican “autopsy” of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 election, which called for a “welcoming, inclusive message” to prevent Democrats from winning overwhelming segments of the minority population again.
“If slurring the children of immigrants, whether Hispanic or Asian, is their idea of the ‘welcoming, inclusive message,’ then the GOP has more, much more work to do than we originally thought,” she said.
Ms. Chu, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, echoed her colleagues’ comments, and argued such viewpoints disqualify Mr. Bush from serving in the Oval Office.
“Jeb Bush’s remarks yesterday are both derogatory and offensive. For him to triple down on such vile terms for U.S. citizen children born to undocumented immigrants shows how unfit for president he truly is,” she said, accusing Mr. Bush of trying to win back any lost Hispanic support by attacking Asian-Americans. “This was even worse, pitting one group against the other, this explanation that this slur was primarily directed at Asian immigrants and babies is outrageous, and reveals how pathetic he and the so-called ‘establishment’ wing of the Republican Party really are.”