During a discussion of immigration-related issues on 630 KHOW-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show, radio host Peter Boyles described "the 'typical' illegal immigrant" as a young, "illiterate" man who is "willing to undercut a U.S. citizen." Boyles also repeated the falsehood that U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants enable their parents to avoid deportation.
Calling Peter Boyles a "leader" on the issue of illegal immigration, fellow 630 KHOW-AM radio co-host Dan Caplis asked Boyles for his profile "of the 'typical' illegal immigrant" during the December 12 broadcast of The Caplis & Silverman Show. Boyles answered, in part, "Young male; no, if any, education; illiterate in his own language; willing to undercut a U.S. citizen." Later in the interview, Boyles revived his often-repeated falsehood that a child born in the United States to illegal immigrants -- a so-called "anchor baby" -- exempts the parents from deportation proceedings.
Boyles made his comments during a discussion of the December 12 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Greeley. At one point in the interview, Caplis asked, "[W]ouldn't it be fair to say that the motive" of someone who is in the country illegally is "not to undercut a U.S. citizen's ability to work; the motive is, is the common motive we all have to, to better our own lives and our family?" Boyles replied, "Some, not all. I mean, it doesn't matter." And when Caplis asked, "[D]oesn't it matter a lot to what we should do to solve this problem?" Boyles simply answered, "No."
Later in the broadcast, Boyles disagreed with co-host Craig Silverman's assertion that, because of the ICE raid, "we're going to read a lot of sad stories in the paper ... some guy's going to be deported who has six children at home who are American citizens; they were born in this country, now they may never see dad or mom again." Boyles responded, "No, he's not going to be deported" and further claimed that "there is a situation called an anchor -- the 14th Amendment babies." Boyles continued, "[So]me people call them jackpot babies, some people call them anchor babies -- they're 14th Amendment babies. If a woman and a man -- and up there, right now, if there's a baby involved, the court's not going to deport the mom. And they're -- they keep families together."
As Colorado Media Matters has noted, anti-immigration activists contend that, under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, children who are U.S. citizens at birth "anchor" parents who are in the country illegally to the United States and qualify them for access to some government services. However, the birth of a child in the United States does not affect either parent's immigration status. In fact, federal law stipulates that U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants must wait until they are 21 to petition for their parents to be given legal status.
From the December 12 broadcast of KHOW 630-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show, which occurred remotely from a Denver restaurant:
CAPLIS: Let me ask you --
CAPLIS: -- and, and I know that you're a leader on this issue, you know, particularly, I think, among those who are opposed to something like a guest worker program or something like that -- and if I'm misunderstanding your position, let me know. But, but what do you think the, the quote-unquote typical -- and I don't mean that in an inhumane way, but quite the opposite -- what do you think the profile is of the "typical" illegal immigrant who is here working?
BOYLES: Young male; no, if any, education; illiterate in his own language; willing to undercut a U.S. citizen. But the key to all of it is some U.S. citizen who will hire them to undercut one of his fellow countrymen.
SILVERMAN: What, what --
CAPLIS: May I follow up briefly and then -- Craig, sorry, I don't mean to monopolize the conversation but, but -- but to fill out that profile, wouldn't it be fair to say that the motive of the person in being here is not to undercut a U.S. citizen's ability to work; the motive is, is the common motive we all have to, to better our own lives and our family and, and --
BOYLES: Mmm. Some, not all. I mean, it doesn't matter. I mean, it -- why does it even -- why do you even ask?
CAPLIS: Well, isn't it -- doesn't it matter a lot to what we should do to solve this problem and, and --
CAPLIS: -- to what options are really on the table?
BOYLES: First of all, I mean it's -- I mean, I wasn't ... I came here tonight --
CAPLIS: Oh no -- yeah. No, and it is a party; it is a party. We grabbed Pete out of a party and I, I didn't --
BOYLES: But guys, fellows, fellows -- there is not a larger domestic policy issue in this country today. There's not an issue in domestic policy -- from criminal justice, education, to welfare, to health care, to medical care, to insurance benefits -- you go down a list of things, there is not one issue in this country that has not been touched, smashed, crushed, or partially destroyed by illegal immigration. Now, whether or not a guy or a woman comes here illegally -- but that's the operative word -- and when they do these raids today, and you'll find out -- and this is a pretty well-educated guess -- that every one of those guys that they round up -- men or women -- have a family, and almost everyone of them have a family here. And almost every one of their family members will be in some way, on the dole -- either in education, breakfast programs, but when you go down a list of things -- guys, it has to end. I mean, it, it just can't go on.
SILVERMAN: Right, and we're going to read a lot of sad stories in the paper; the predictable follow-ups is some guy's going to be deported who has six children at home who are American citizens; they were born in this country, now they may never see dad or mom again.
BOYLES: No, he's not going to be deported. They have an -- there is a situation called an anchor -- the 14th Amendment babies --
BOYLES: -- some people call them jackpot babies, some people call them anchor babies -- they're 14th Amendment babies. If a woman and a man -- and up there, right now, if there's a baby involved, the court's not going to deport the mom. And they're -- they keep families together. In fact, now the movement is to reunite families from south of the border; in other words, bring grandma here. I mean, guys, you know, it isn't as simple as, "Gee, this guy was working for nine bucks an hour up there and a U.S. citizen was going to get 18 or 19." It isn't that simple; it's way beyond that.