April 27th, 2011
Paul Ryan Compares Latinos To Animals, Decries “Anchor Babies”

Yesterday, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan held several town halls, one of which stirred up the topic of immigration and so-called “anchor babies.” What ensued, were  some rather insensitive comments from Ryan, in which he noted that “anchor babies cost money,” which is like saying U.S. citizen children cost money — how is it worse when they’re Latino kids?

At the town hall a woman in the audience challenged another ex-Marine constituent who brought up the issue, then asked Ryan when he spoke about “catch and release” immigration whether he was talking about human beings or fish.

Here’s the video:

Here’s what The Weekly Standard reported was the exchange:

Ryan began to talk about border security, saying that “catch and release” doesn’t work.

“Are you talking about people or fish?” a woman in bold framed glasses blurted out.

“And that is racist and sexist,” she continued, turning toward the retired Marine. After some back and forth among crowd members, Ryan tried to calm them down.

“Don’t let him speak in a racist, sexist manner. You can stop him,” the woman said.

“The gentleman has a right to be heard,” Ryan replied.

Personally, that’s one of my favorite lines. When people with prejudice want to talk (hello birthers?) it’s called “free speech,” but when DREAMers or other people want to raise their voices, they’re arrested or escorted out by police. For example, the ex-Marine who brought up the issue in the first place referred to these “anchor babies” — who let’s not forget are actually U.S. citizens, presumably just like this guy — as “it.” Okay, so when Latinos (since he said they were coming from Mexico) are children, they are “it,” I wonder if this guy refers to his own children as objects or people?

But Ryan jumps on board, noting that “anchor babies cost money,” which is like saying that U.S. citizens cost money — it makes no sense. Are we supposed to gather that when the government spends money on Latinos (who happen to be U.S. citizens) it’s bad, but when they spend money on non-Latino kids it’s not a “problem”? That’s a question I’d like to have answered.

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Video By widems09; Photo Courtesy U.S. House]

41 thoughts on “Paul Ryan Compares Latinos To Animals, Decries “Anchor Babies”

  1. The term “anchor babies” is racist. No matter whose mouth it comes out of. Funny how an ex-Marine would be the one to use this term when in all probability he served side by side with one of these “anchor babies” who probably watched his back…shame on him, and shame on Ryan…

  2. Ryan obviously is just as racist as many others, but he is just a better actor. I hope he loses his seat in the house and goes to hollywood and play the role of a guy who is good at pulling a scam. He’d be great as a small time crook. At least he’d be playing it on a movie screen instead of in Washington where people’s lives are at stake because of policies like his.

  3. Here in Canada, we have laws against hate speech and inciting hatred. This type of “freedom of speech” makes me sad. Paul Ryan hates immigrants, but last time I checked his picture, he doesn’t look like an American Indian (the only “non immigrants” to North America).

  4. Pingback: “Anchor Baby” Is Always A Racist Term | NewsTaco

  5. “Anchor babies” DO cost money. Their birth cost US taxpayers thousands of dollars for each one born here. The woman steps across the non-existant border (to them) and heads for the nearest hospital. t perhaps she makes it to Parkland in Dallas. They can boast the highest rate of births to illegal alien mothers in the country. Just ask them. Illegals have managed to shut down quite a few medical facilities because of non-payment. But haven’t you heard? They’re entitled! 

      • Maybe I need to spell it out. By “anchor babies,” I mean the children born to illegal alien women who step across the border at the first contraction and thereby gain all the goodies that the US taxpayer is forced to pay. Yes, through the misinterpretation of the 14th amendment, our government foolishly hands out our more precious birthright – citizenship – to those whose parents have laughed at our laws and broken into our country. I’m ready for a President who cares enough about our laws and his citizens to stop the invasion. And, no, legal Americans must pay for their own delivery and every other “incidental” that comes along with a legal American baby who will grow up to continue payments to those who break and enter! 

  6. Paul Ryan did nothing to stop the dude when he referred to an “anchor baby” as “it.” Anchor baby is a racist term, and, for someone who cries about civility, I would think allowing someone to call a human being any of these terms without correction, and then go on to referring to Latinos as animals, gives the lie to his version of “civility.” Ryan’s time has come.

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  8.  Actually probably not “just like this guy” in that his parents were probably  – not absolutely but probably, in the country legally when he was born.   The woman in the audience certainly has a right to her feelings – but it doesn’t even make sense to  call the policy widely known as “catch and release” (detain & release at the border) “sexist” – or perhaps she was referring to the concept of “anchor babies” – well, I guess if it’s sexist to think only women have babies . . .

  9. Republican Bobby Jindal is an anchor baby….lol 
    His parents were born in India and were here on green cards when he was born.  

  10. I have a question for Paul:  I realize this is a latino based newspaper, But my question is:  what about Chinese, Japanese, Canadian, South American, European parents who are here in this country and have a baby?  Are they considered American citizens or anchor babies?

    •  That would depend entirely on whether they were here LEGALLY or not.  There’s nothing racist about it except the apparent assumption by many here that it could only refer to Latinos.

  11. I’m very tired of elected representatives not correcting their constituents’ bigotry, but tolerating it, and adding to it with the kinds of laws they want to pass. Sickening.

  12. anchor babies are a myth. they can not sponsor their parent until they are 18 years old, then there is a 10 year bar to overcome if the parents have lived in the U.S. undocumented. When the child does file for the parent(s) it could take up to 15 years for the paperwork to be approved. It is a long, difficult road, especially with our screwed up immigration laws.

    • I think if you don’t think people struggle to get their children born in the US to give their children the benefits of US citizenship (and hopes of lesser liklihood of being deported themselves – whether factually based or not) – you must not be in a border state – unless it’s bordering Canada. 

    • You are so right – it was either idiotic or utterly disingenuous of that woman to try to infer that referring  to the policy widely known as “catch and release” (detain and release at the border) suggests that persons subject to the policy were being derogatorily regarded as “fish”, as she said – or “animals” as others have chosen to distort it for their own purposes.

    •  PS – Paul Ryan may in fact be a “bold faced liar” – I don’t know (though I think the phrase actually “bald-faced”, “bold” sounds better to me too)  but is there anything you think he lied about here? He said legal immigration needs to be fixed in order to remove some of the pressures that cause illegal immigration.   Sounds much like what Ben said above –   and here you are calling Ben a liar.  I declare.  Mean folk here.

  13. What really works? Fining those who hire illegal immigrants. If you can’t find work, no reason to be here.

    But Republicans won’t do that…because it’s the big employers who donate to their campaigns who won’t hire an American worker to make the beds and do the landscaping.

  14. This story came out a few months ago already, didn’t it? I seem to remember him saying it shortly after he was inaugurated into office back in January.

  15. If you actually listen to what was said you would see that this story is nothing more than a lie, I am astounded by the pure stupidity and lies this idiot so called author of this story put up, he did not compare them to animals, LIE. I can’t believe people actually read this garbage, you would get more truth from the Enquirer then this garbage!

    •  It’s what’s called “propaganda” – as well as putting words into the mouths of others when it suits your own purposes and prejudices.   Ryan may be the anti-Christ some of these people try to depict him to be – but this  – does it claim to be “an article” ? Or is it just typical blogospheric flatulence with utter disregard for the facts of what was said as presented in its own accompanying video.  

  16. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a beautiful way to say you are your brother’s keeper. As long as help supports a persons’ fullest desires without dependence, and without judgement of objectification, (building oneself up for how great I am for granting this power,) such as this man seems to suggest by dividing the real baby from the non-human, in this case, selective help, based on power-tripping, then no substitution of dependence from the government would result. The goal is to help the weak get stronger, not let the weak become weaker.

  17. This is an utterly disappointing new article for someone like me. I’m an Obama supporter and likely Democratic voter, but this kind of article only panders to the ultra left which I try to avoid almost as much as the ultra right. Congressman Ryan’s budget plan is miserable, but don’t use that as an excuse to demonize everything he does: He is absolutely correct in stating the marine had a right to be heard and from the looks of things, the Congressman didn’t “approve” of the insensitive comments either. Further polarization gets us no where.

    The President has repeatedly called for the nation to have an adult conversation, and this article falls well short of Obama’s request. Don’t stoop to your opponents level, retain your honor.

    Grow up Sara

    • I agree. Also, if the people who are offended would watch the video carefully you’ll see that he merely was repeating the mans comment to answer his question not calling them “anchor babies” himself. Yes, that term is extremely racist but let’s ascribe it to the marine who said it, not Ryan just because you don’t like him. But I suppose people see what they want to see.

  18. Lets keep Ryan talking, and people hearing him.
    His thinking is so distorted and his humanity so deficient,
    that eventually any one who pays a ttention will get it.
    A lot of people have snored through his projects because
    he has been talking this…garbage..for a long time.

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  20. How is discussion of ‘Anchor babies’ not racist?! I love how the TEA party denies that they are racist, and yet engages in this sort of terminology. He should have called the man out on using an incorrect term, educated the crowd on some of the complexities of the immigration issue, and then offered some real solutions – Illegal Immigration is a problem; but people really do not sneak across the border to have a baby just to wait 18 years until the kids sponsors them for citizenship….This doesn’t happen. Illegal Immigration can be tackled with a guest worker program, penalties for illegal hiring, and a reasonable path to citizenship for those who wish to immigrate legally. But these solutions aren’t discussed- instead we imprison immigrants (Arizona 1070) to benefit private prison companies, and contemplate revoking the 14th amendment. By the way, The United States has had a hand in meddling with affairs in several Latin American Countries. How about we allow mass legal immigration from Nicaragua, Guatemala, and anywhere else where we have assisted in supporting dictators or mass slaughters of innocent people?

    •  It’s a shame you don’t apparently  realize the racism inherent in equating the concept of anchor babies with a single race.  Millions of persons have traveled to America with the dream of giving their children the benefits of U.S. citizenship.   The primary difference of course being whether the parents themselves were legally present in the U.S. at the time.  There is nothing any more “racist” in the concept of anchor babies or  in opposing endless unauthorized immigration than in acknowledging that the  vast number of  illegal immigrants come from (or through) our borders with Mexico, as opposed to say – “from Sweden”.  I note that you do not tell us what “the correct term” is either.  If you do not believe the concept of “anchor babies” is real – I’d have to wonder where are you  – on the Canadian border?  Note also that Ryan never used the phrase except in quoting the constituent.  He also said we need to fix legal immigration to reduce the pressures of illegal immigration.  Further, the content of Arizona’s SB1070 law is misrepresented, as it (at least as amended) creates a misdemeanor for being in the country illegally with a $100 fine with a potential 20 days in jail with unlimited repeat offenses garnering a MAXIMUM 30 days in jail.  And while U.S. meddling abroad is a valid and ongoing concern, it really has nothing to do with the situation – and misrepresentation of what went on and was said in this video.  

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