"Anchor baby" is widely acknowledged to be a pejorative term to describe the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Fox News' Juan Williams has called it "derisive" and "ugly," and one Hispanic Republican group declared it to be "defamatory." So why is a national news anchor using it as if it were accurate?
On his 8 p.m. ET broadcast last night, CBS Radio News anchor Bill Whitney introduced a report this way: "They're called anchor babies, children of illegal immigrants who provide an anchor in the United States. In Arizona, there's a move afoot to weigh those anchors."
The following report, by contrast, did not use that term at all, so it's a puzzle as to why Whitney used it in the first place, let alone felt the need to portray it as an accepted description.
Sadly, Whitney's use of the phrase on CBS Radio News is not the only recent example of a mainstream outlet using these inflammatory words. Last month, Fox News Latino described the child of actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem as an "anchor baby."