Asian American legislators are demanding an apology from GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush for his comments this week about Asian "anchor babies" during remarks in which he misconstrued the issues of undocumented immigration and maternity tourism.
On a conference call organized the day after Bush's Monday comments in McAllen, Texas, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) - Chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) - said Bush was clearly "not fit for the Presidency" and "owes the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community an apology."
Chu called the continued use of the phrase "anchor baby," "derogatory," "offensive," "outrageous," and "insulting to both Hispanics and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders."
“It is important that everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” said Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) on the call, referring to her diverse district in Queens, New York. “Yesterday, Jeb Bush sounded like he wants to divide us, pit one group against each other, one neighbor against another. This is not the American dream.”
Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) weighed in with a Vine, suggesting that Bush "step forward" and "man up," by apologizing.
Honda also posted a Facebook message, calling Bush's comments "indefensible" and attempting to refocus the conversation on the efforts being made to reform the immigration system.
Chu echoed Honda's sentiments on the conference call.
“All that is accomplished through talk of anchor-babies – be they from Latin America, Asia, Europe, or Africa - is to use xenophobia to further isolate immigrants," she said. "It’s time for our country to return to a substantive discussion on immigration.”