GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s clarification of his usage of the term, “anchor baby” did not go over well with Asian Americans, who took to Twitter Monday evening in response to the former Florida governor’s latest remarks.
Bush, conflating the current debate over undocumented immigration withmaternity tourism, effectively shifted the focus surrounding the use of the controversial term “anchor babies,” from Hispanics to Asians.
“What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed, where there’s organized efforts — and frankly it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country — having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of a noble concept, which is birthright citizenship,” Bush said Monday in McAllen, Texas.
Asian Americans, the fastest-growing racial group in the country, were quick to respond on social media.
A 2014 study found that Asian Americans were the least likely of all groups to be contacted by political parties, despite the population’s growing political clout. Bush’s comments drew criticism that he would further alienate an already-marginalized community before next year’s election, as well accusations that Bush was attempting to placate one minority group at the expense of another.
Asian-American legislative and civil rights leaders registered their offense at Bush’s comments, and continued use of the phrase “anchor babies.”
The storm of criticism was punctuated with attempts at humor, as many employed sarcasm to convey their disappointment or frustration.
By late-Monday evening, 15-year-old high school student Jason Fong had had enough. Creating the hashtag #MyAsianAmericanStory, Fong launched a national conversation, as Asian Americans shared their personal, family, and community stories.
“I felt that Asian Americans need to be included in the immigration discussions,” Fong told NBC News. “Our stories need to be told accurately so that our diversity and our contributions can be shared. Bush doesn’t get to tell my story.”