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American Heritage Dictionary adds 'offensive' to 'anchor baby'

Published on Tue, Dec 06, 2011

The American Heritage Dictionary has added "offensive" to the definition of "anchor baby" in the dictionary after criticism from Latino groups.

Immigrationimpact.com, a project of the nonprofit American Immigration Council, questioned the inclusion of the "anchor baby" definition. On their website, they describe the new definition as "one that was crafted to reflect more accurately just how artificial a term it really is."

The online version of the American Heritage Dictionary now defines "anchor baby" as:

"Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship..."

In January, lawmakers in Washington pushed to change the law so babies born to illegal immigrants could no longer be given automatic citizenship.

Former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce paved the way for Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law supported the legislation in a bill he proposed in 2010.

In May, when CBS 5 Investigates showed Pearce an email referring to "anchor babies" that he forwarded, he said he didn't find anything wrong with the language.

"It's somebody's opinion … What they're trying to say is it's wrong, and I agree with them. It's wrong," said Pearce.

Published in the KPHO Phoenix | Read Article