Fox host Bill O'Reilly and GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump repeatedly used the pejorative “anchor baby” when discussing the children of immigrants in the U.S. This term has been described as “racist” and false because parents of children born in U.S. aren't allowed to apply for citizenship until the child is 21.
On the November 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Donald Trump discussed his mass deportation immigration proposal with O'Reilly. Trump repeatedly used the term “anchor babies” to characterize children of immigrants born in the U.S. While Bill O'Reilly pointed out that Trump's immigration plans were unrealistic, he joined Trump in using the term “anchor babies.”
BILL O'REILLY: But I said last night, and this is absolutely true, you have gotten a lot of currency and a lot of popularity on your tough immigration stance and I back you on the wall. I back you. But I also don't think you could deport these people because the federal courts would stop you and they would say each person that Donald Trump, President Trump wants to deport has to have due process. So in the year 2050, you'd finally get around to it.
DONALD TRUMP: Bill, they're here illegally.
O'REILLY: Doesn't matter.
TRUMP: Bill, the people are here illegally.
O'REILLY: The Supreme Court would absolutely rule they all have to have due process because they are on American soil. You know that.
TRUMP: Do you remember when you said about the anchor babies that there's nothing you can do about it and I said yes there is and I was right about that?
O'REILLY: No you weren't.
TRUMP: And frankly all we need is a simple -- well yes I was. You don't need a new amendment. All we have to do is go back to Congress and have a rather -- it's been fully vetted now, Bill. I was right on the anchor babies.
O'REILLY: The courts have ruled twice against the anchor baby stuff. You'd have to get a constitutional amendment passed to overturn that. You might be able to do it. You might be able to do it, but you just couldn't --
TRUMP: Bill, you don't have to do. You don't have to do a constitutional amendment. You need an act of Congress.
O'REILLY: All right, this goes around and around.
Other right-wing media figures have supported Trump's use of the term, but in reality children born in the US to undocumented parents cannot even apply for their parents to be in the country legally until age 21 and the term has been called “racist,” “ugly,” and “pejorative.”