Paul Ryan Town Hall Gins Up Racist ‘Anchor Baby’ Fears

Paul Ryan addressed Wisconsin voters in Paddock Lake at a town hall meeting April 2011. The discussion centered around so-called anchor babies.

One audience member, a retired Marine argued that illegal immigration and anchor babies were costing the American tax payer far too much, and asked if Ryan had a plan to address this. The Marine referred to anchor babies as “it,” implying that they were somehow less human than white babies.

Paul Ryan spoke of  “catch and release” much to the chagrin of a female audience member who chimed in with “Are you talking about people or fish?” The woman also spoke out against the Marine’s racist comments before being told to hush by Paul Ryan. The woman responded by pleading with Ryan “Don’t let him speak in a racist, sexist manner. You can stop him,” to which he replied “The gentleman has a right to be heard.”


Ryan continued to decry the costs generated by anchor babies, thereby insinuating that an American citizen of Latino descent is not as valuable as an American citizen with white skin.

Here’s the video:

Not only is immigration not out of control, the Marine’s contention that anchor babies were an epidemic is flat-out false. PolitiFact debunked the myth in 2010. First off, having a so called anchor baby offers little to no benefit to its mother. Secondly, the mere fact that undocumented men far outnumber undocumented women proves that it’s on the agenda of few immigrants. Finally, the numbers simply don’t back them up. Most anchor babies are born to women who have been in the US for at least a year, meaning they weren’t pregnant when crossing the border.

Perhaps the question we should really be asking is why “anchor babies” were the subject of a town hall meeting in Wisconsin? Are they having an influx of Canadian anchor babies or is Paul Ryan simply playing to the lowest common denominator of the Republican party? Is this what we can be looking forward to on the national stage? Of course, those questions are rhetorical. Now that Romney has further pandered to his base by choosing one of the most conservative men in Congress as his running mate, look for more rabid racism. In the meantime, it’s clear they’ve given up on the Latino vote.