Several Twitter users are freaking out over Jeb Bush’s comments defending his use of the term “anchor baby.”
Bush said Monday that, “Frankly it’s more Asian people” who are anchor babies. Some are now saying this is offensive, though it has been well documented that thousands of Chinese every year come to America to give birth.
The trend of Chinese women flocking to the US in order for their children to be American citizens has grown so large that there is even a Chinese romantic-comedy movie titled “Finding Mr. Right” about a Chinese woman coming to Seattle to have a baby on a tourist visa.
But several Twitter users thought it was racist for Bush to mention the trend.
It’s okay, y’all. Jeb Bush is NOT anti-immigrant. He’s just anti-Asian! 😀
— Tenzin དཔལ་སྐྱིད (@TenzinPelkyi) August 24, 2015
Jeb! Bush explains that Asian anchor babies are the real problem http://t.co/KSddKimRoH
— Sarah (@s3bland57) August 24, 2015
— Chelsea Lin ODonnell (@chelsodon) August 24, 2015
In March of this year Federal agents conducted raids in California on 20 “birth tourism” centers. Also known as “maternity hotels,” these businesses offer a luxury service costing well into the tens of thousands, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“According to the affidavit, clients of You Win pay between $40,000 and $80,000 for a package that includes coaching on how to deceive U.S. officials in China to obtain a tourist visa, luxury accommodation for three months before and after delivery, transportation to hospitals, and help getting passports for newborns. Clients pay cash separately for medical expenses, often at an indigent rate of only $4,000 for delivery offered to uninsured U.S. patients, the affidavit said.
The website for You Win Vacation describes premium accommodation in high-rise buildings and beachfront villas near the “best” shopping mall and hospital.
An Internet chat room for the enterprise shows pictures of pregnant women, newborn babies and their families. Among the leisure activity enjoyed: a Clippers vs. Spurs basketball game at the Staples Center and visits to Disneyland and a shooting range.”
A woman who was in one of these hotels when it got raided told NBC News, “I am doing this for the education of the next generation.”
While it is difficult to get exact numbers on the amount of Chinese coming to deliver birth in the US, it is estimated there were 60,000 of these Chinese anchor babies in 2014.
The Huffington Post ran a story on this phenomenon in May, even touching on the fact that birthright citizenship entices foreigners to give birth in America.
“When Ma Fahong approached the immigration desk at Los Angeles International Airport, the customs agent had only two questions for her.
“Why are you coming to the U.S.?”
“I’m here to have a baby.”
“How much cash do you have on you?”
“I only have $1,000 in cash, but I have a debit card with much more in the bank.”
Passport stamped. Welcome to Los Angeles.
Ma is part of a growing wave of Chinese women who are flocking to the United States — California, in particular — to have children who will grow up as American citizens. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship to every person born on American soil, a fact that has long motivated foreigners from all over the world to give birth in the U.S.”