Jeb Bush on Tuesday said he was referring to “a very narrowcasted system of fraud” when he suggested that Asian immigrants are most responsible for “anchor babies” and pointed to his multi-cultural family when defending his use of the controversial term.
Bush outraged some Asian Americans on Monday when he said the issue of anchor babies is “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.”
A voter at a town hall event in Colorado on Tuesday asked the former Florida governor if he regretted “scapegoating” Asians by suggesting they are most at fault for entering the country illegally to give birth so that their children can be U.S. citizens.
“I was talking about a very narrowcasted system of fraud where people are bringing...pregnant women in to have babies to have birthright citizenship,” Bush answered, without specifically addressing Asian immigrants.
Bush’s continued dismissal of criticism over his use of the term “anchor babies” has overshadowed his campaign in recent days. On Monday, he called it “ludicrous” to think he was insulting immigrants and called on people to “chill out a little bit as it relates to the political correctness.”
On Tuesday he talked about his embrace of Hispanic culture to refute suggestions of discrimination.
“My record is pretty clear. I’m married to a Mexican-American United States citizen. I’m immersed in the culture, I’m bilingual. I feel like I’m bicultural,” Bush said. “I’m proud of the diversity of my own family.”
“It’s going to be really hard for me to be lectured to about the politics of immigration,” he added.