Let’s Bury the Term Anchor Babies Now and Forever

7 Sep
Anchors Away

Anchors Away

There are a lot of angry white people in America these days, and they are angry about many many, things, such as that insidious problem known as the anchor baby.

Ah, the anchor baby, a two-word term that makes my blood boil. Which came first- the movement to strip babies born to non-citizens of their citizenship, or the term which reduces the mothers of said children to bulky ships, using their children to “anchor” their lives of living high on the hog in America?  One ugly idea, it seems, supports and breathes life into the other.

I will leave for the sociologists the question of why, at this historical moment, during the presidential term of our first President of color, there has been a rise in elderly white angst.  Though I’m no expert, I’ll wager that most of the individuals rallying around this cause (how we determine who is worthy of earned citizenship and who is not has yet to be addressed by these yahoos) feel that a) America is becoming latinized, and b) that is a very, very, very scary thing.

So what’s to be scared of?  In addition to sociology, I am also not an expert at economics.  But I know that this country has a dire need for fresh workers during this recessionary time.  And during these lean times, it is easy to scapegoat the people who look and sound different from us for our woes.  Yes, there is an economic argument for not clamping down on immigration, or the children of people in this country with no papers.  But there is a moral argument, too.  Referring to a mother giving birth to a child as someone dropping anchor is crass and wrong.  It shows a profound misunderstanding of why immigrants, be they legal or illegal, come to this nation.

People go through harrowing conditions, traversing nations, dangerous highways and scorching deserts, leaving homes and families and starting from zero in a foreign land, for the chance to drop a kid or two in the land of the free and the home of the brave, right? Right.  In reality, people live their lives.  They come here with children, or they come single.  Husbands and wives welcome additions to their families, and formerly single people meet in a new land, fall in love and have children.  As simple as that.

As my Dad, a second generation Lebanese-American, once elegantly put it, “Everyone talks about Mexicans coming to this country and multiplying as if it was a bad thing”.  Now, the man married a Mexicana.  But he has a very good point.  Dad, my sentiments exactly.

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