Washington: Amidst a controversy over “anchor babies” Bobby Jindal, who was born three months after his pregnant mother came to the US from India, has joined party frontrunner Donald Trump in calling for the end of birthright citizenship.
But the Indian-American Republican presidential hopeful, who is languishing at the bottom of most polls, made sure to point out at an event in Columbus, Ohio Friday that when his parents immigrated, “they came to this country legally.”
Returning to his now familiar theme about being tired of hyphenated Americans, Louisiana governor Jindal said anyone who wants to come to the US must “learn English, adopt our values, and when you get here, roll up your sleeves and get to work.”
“Immigration without assimilation is invasion,” he declared at a Defending the American Dream Summit hosted by conservative Americans for Prosperity.
Claiming that he could secure the southern border with Mexico within six months of becoming president, he said officials in Washington should be fired for making excuses about securing the border.
“A smart immigration policy will make our country stronger – a dumb immigration policy will make it weaker,” he said. “Today, we have a dumb immigration policy.”
He also called for prosecuting officials in “sanctuary cities” which shelter illegal immigrants and don’t cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws, when their undocumented residents commit crimes.
He also detailed his Partners in Crime proposal to put an end to sanctuary cities, which would see mayors in those cities charged as accessories to crimes committed by undocumented workers.
Most Republican presidential hopefuls have hardened their stance on immigration since real estate mogul leapt to the top of the crowded Republican field after vowing to build a wall to prevent people from Mexico from sneaking in and ending the birthright citizenship of illegal immigrants’ children.
Trying to imitate Trump, establishment favorite Jeb Bush stepped into controversy Thursday when he referred to US-born children of undocumented immigrants as “anchor babies.”
In a testy exchange with reporters in New Hampshire, Bush said that he doesn’t believe the expression is offensive and blamed Democrats for perpetuating the notion that it is an insult.
“Do you have a better term?” he asked one reporter. “You give me a better term and I’ll use it.”
Trump used the term for people who immigrate illegally into the US to give birth to ensure US citizenship for their child.
Jindal, who earned less than half of 1 percent in CNN’s recent poll, also attacked Bush, who otherwise advocates comprehensive changes to the immigration system and has said “that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.”