Talk:Anchor baby/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Status check

There's been a lot of discussion since the RFC was filed. Would you care to summarize what, if anything, is still unresolved? Pairadox 11:09, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I think it's mostly resolved. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 16:34, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that we have yet to find a reliable source to support the claim that there is a significant non-pejorative usage of the expression. --Ramsey2006 20:04, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Didn't we get around that need by changing the language to say that some people use the term without characterizing it as pejorative? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:24, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Why do we feel the need to alert the reader to such a trivial fact in this particular article? Is this a special property of the term "anchor baby", or is it just a property of all terms and words in general? It seems to me to be an empty statement that is vacuously true and totally void of all content. Perhaps a stronger and more general (but still true) version of the statement should be added to the wikipedia articles Pejorative or Word instead. At least there it might carry some interest. --Ramsey2006 20:52, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Should we alert the reader to the fact that when people utter the phrase "anchor baby" it causes air molecules to vibrate? --Ramsey2006 21:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Even if all of that is true we still need to use language which everyone can find acceptable even if it's not ideal. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:38, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
The problem with your argument Ramsey is its basis in false assumptions. I do not agree that our compromise or to point out to the reader that some sources use the term 'pejorative' and some do not is misleading or 'vacuously true' - it is very much the truth in all respects. It's that simple. My own sentiments are against using the term and it would be easy for me to simply argue from those sentiments; but then I wouldn't be faithful to the promise of Wikipedia or any knowledge source people might seek. Rather, it is best to represent fact backed up by reliable sources to what is occurring and in the case of "Anchor Baby" there is sufficient evidence to indicate that some of those who use the term do not do so in a pejorative manner - although those opposed to immigration enforcement might think otherwise. Overtime the nature of the term, which is fairly modern in its usage will become recognized as one or the other like other more clearly pejorative terms like 'wetback.' Such terms are never helpful and carry a lot of emotion depending on how their used, even if they were innocent enough when first used; such as the origin of the pejorative 'nigger' in the Spanish word 'negro.' When that time arrives you can be sure a credible news agency like the NBC affiliate or Congressman would shy away from the term except when it is qualified in some form for usage; and use other terms instead. --Northmeister 03:28, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
"or to point out to the reader that some sources use the term 'pejorative' and some do not" Nowhere in the article does it say that some use the term non-pejoratively. The article says that the term has been used without being characterized as pejorative. Is it your belief that the statement in the article might be misread by careless readers so as to seem to imply something that it does not actually say? People hurl slurs and epithets at other people all the time without characterizing them as pejorative. If you think that the statement might be misread by the casual reader to imply something that it does not, perhaps we need to work on the wording some more. --Ramsey2006 11:20, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
One should read the compromise above. It goes no further than to point out the usage of pejorative in the context of the articles subject. What is misleading is neglecting reliable sources that use the term 'anchor baby' in a context of news report (and headline) and in the context of government operations (Congressional hearing) without characterizing the term in any form than a description of a phenomenon occuring that needs remedy according to the users of the term. Whether or not the term is pejorative is opinion. Whether or not sources use the term 'pejorative' is not - we have reliable sources to support our compromise sentence which is not IDEAL but as Willbeback states to paraphrase 'the acceptable is not the enemy of the ideal'. --Northmeister 13:45, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
By "government operations", do you mean operations like Operation Wetback?. Did newspapers and politicians spend a lot of time characterizing the term "Japs" as pejorative every time they used it in reference to Japanese Americans who were being rounded up and placed in detention camps? --Ramsey2006 13:56, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
"Japs" was used throughout World War II primarily as a shortened version of Japanese who at the time (lest we forget) had killed numerous innocent Americans in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Further the term "Japs" was used in the same context as the shortened version of "Jewish" to "Jews" or "Jew". Japanese Americans were under threat for retaliation (look at what occured after 9-11 with Arab Americans and multipy it considering the 1940s attitudes) and FDR felt it necessary to protect them from this; and there were real threats from Japanese intelligence considering what the Germans did with some German-Americans during World War I. Whether that was the right move can be Monday-Night quaterbacked from here to kingdom come. Reprisals against German Americans were rampant during World War I to give you a little history behind FDR decision. Evetually these Americans not only served with honor in Europe during the war; but were compensated for losses later (this in my opinion took too long - it should of occured after the war). We have to judge people and situations in the context of the times they lived and not our own. The term 'wetback' was originally used to describe the process of coming across the Rio Grande thus getting 'their backs wet'. The term has morphed into a pejorative in modern times against all 'Mexicans' or even 'Latinos'. This often occurs with orginally innocent or descriptive terms that are then misused to denigerate whole groups. -Back to actual topic: You are again asking editors to judge others usage of terms rather than simply relay what the sources say. The compromise weighs all sources and the words used indicate this. --Northmeister 14:15, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
From Japs: ""Jap" was a derogatory term during the war, more so than "Nip."" Mere use by newspapers and politicians is no guarentee of a word not being pejorative. Let's stop pretending that it is. --Ramsey2006 20:59, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
LOL. That article needs work. But, lets not bring it here. Back to topic once again. --Northmeister 01:57, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

The topic is: do we need to make further changes to the article? We may not make everyone equally happy but it's sufficient to make everyone equally unhappy. Can we call it quits on this or is there a pressing issue we need to keep addressing? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:04, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I was able to find two references specifically addressing the media use of the term. They document both the fact that the term has been used in the media, as well as the controversies that have resulted from said use. I believe that this is a better approach than attempting to rely on our interpretation of what is left out of various articles. --Ramsey2006 02:47, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
If we can find other reliable sources documenting media use, then we should include them, but I believe we at least have a start on the media use question. The use by politicians remains to be addressed. If we can find sources that specifically talk about the use of the term by politicians, that would be great. If not, I would suggest that we go through the links that have been proposed here on this talk page and see if we can find a fair characterization of the term's use by politicians. For example, does such use by politicians corresponding to their advocacy of legislation that would remove birthright citizenship guarenteed by the 14th Amendment for children of undocumented immigrants? I suspect that the answer to this will be "yes", but I have not gone through them all, so that remains to be seen. --Ramsey2006 02:56, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
There is sufficient reliable sources indicating the compromise sentence, that, although not my ideal - works for me. I do not agree with Ramsey's assumptions. I've already covered my analysis of those assumptions above. I'll leave it at that. --Northmeister 12:33, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
There are sufficient reliable sources to allow us to base any compromise on what articles actually say, and not feel forced into attempting to speculate on what they don't say, and the reasons behind them not saying it. --Ramsey2006 12:43, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Elvira Arellano

Reciently, there has been a section added titled "Elvira Arellano". The section is out of place for this article. First, for the obvious reason that she has never had the epithet "anchor baby" thrown at her, personally (so far as I know), although I have seen other pejorative terms applied to her in print. If there is going to be such a section, it should be titled "Saul Arellano", instead, and should be focussed on him, not his mother. More importantly, I have checked out the wikipedia articles for several pejorative terms, and have yet to find one that contains an entire section devoted to somebody to whome the term has been applied, even when such people are quite notable and well known, including current presidential candidates. Nor have I encountered sections devoted to relatives of people who have had the term applied to them, as is the case here. Accordingly, I am deleting the section, as it seems not to be in keeping with standard wikipedia practice. --Ramsey2006 17:27, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Almost clever how you attempt to weasel the idea of pejorative as an epithet in there. Disgusting behaviour at best. Perhaps you chose this route thinking that the rest of us are incompetint in language use. Balderdash! Deletions appear to be biased, as well as the additions. This whole word should be removed from wikipedia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Reality Check

I once heard a guy who had no children, and didn't much care for them, refer to my child as a "tax break" -- a term that was accurate, and appropriate given his perspective of child rearing. I got over it. "Anchor Baby" is mostly offensive to pro-illegal immigration people -- and their sympathizers -- who believe the term is an indictment of the parent or child's character. All the rhetoric on this page is politically driven. Quit pretending it's academic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Latest change

Text moved from article:

Opposite views of the term

The term "anchor baby" is used descriptively and without characterization by some in the media. In a news report titled "Anchor babies tie illegal immigrants to US" by NBC2, an affiliate of the NBC broadcasting network, the term is defined without qualifier: "Anchor babies" are children born in the United States to parents who are illegal immigrants. The babies are automatically American citizens and get all the rights and financial help as any other American child." The article went on to state "Babies born in the US whose parents came to the US illegally are often called anchor babies— meaning they anchor the family in America."[1]

Some in Congress also use the term in this way, such as Congressman Jack Kingston's testimony before the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, & Claims, "Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to speak before this committee. It is estimated that in the year 2000 there were 228,000 illegal aliens in the State of Georgia...The average annual cost per child k-12 is $7,161.00 and exceeds $109 billion annually for anchor babies." [2] Americans concerned with the phenomenon of illegal immigration and "anchor babies" have voiced their concerns as Congressman Wally Herger noted in a press release, using the term without characterization: "Hundreds of Northern Californians have contacted me to express their grave concerns with the measure, and I share their concerns...Among other concerns, the bill also does not address the problem of "anchor babies," or children born to illegal immigrants...We are the only major nation in the world that grants birthright citizenship. Failure to reform this policy virtually guarantees that we will face these problems again in the future."[3]

Those in favor of and opposed to immigration refrom have used the term without negative characterization. The group "Federation for American Immigration Reform" or FAIR, which advocates changes in American immigration law, has defined the term and used it in a descriptive manner in their article "Anchor Babies: The Children of Illegal Aliens" which analyses the phenomenon over the present interpretation of the 14th Amendment from a immigration reform standpoint. In that article they use the term thusly, "In addition, when the children turn 21, they can sponsor the immigration of other relatives, becoming "anchor babies" for an entire clan."[4] The "La Voz De Aztlan" organization, in support of what they call the "Anchor baby generation" used the term without pejorative characterization: "La Voz de Aztlan has produced a video in honor of the millions of babies that have been born as US citizens to Mexican undocumented parents. These babies are destined to transform America...La Voz de Aztlan believes that the number is approximately 500,000 "Anchor Babies" born every year." [5]

Despite its uses as a descriptive term, some still oppose the use of the term "anchor baby" and have begun to characterize it as a 'pejorative' term. On August 17, 2006, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn used the term "anchor baby" in reference to Saul Arellano, in a column critical of his mother, who had been given sanctuary at a Chicago church, and advocating her arrest and deportation on immigration related charges.[1] After recieving complaints, the next day Eric Zorn stated in his defense in his Chicago Tribune blog that the term has appeared in newspaper stories since 1997, "usually softened by quotations as in my column", and stated that he regretted having used the term in his column, and promised not to use it again in the future. [2] On August 23, 2007, the North County Times came under criticism from one of its own former columnists, Raoul Lowery Contreras, in a column titled "'Anchor babies' is hate speech", for allowing the term "anchor baby" to be printed in letters and opinion pieces. [3]

  1. ^ Deportation Standoff Not helping Cause August 17, 2006, Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune,
  2. ^ Sinking 'Anchor Babies' August 18, 2006, Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune, "They use it to spark resentment against immigrants," Rivlin said of his ideological foes. "They use it to make these children sound non-human." To me, that's good enough reason to regret having used it and to decide not to use it in the future.
  3. ^ 'Anchor babies' is hate speech August 23, 2007, Raoul Lowery Contreras, North County Times, Today's North County Times readers can't find an article that uses the infamous N-word, the Q-word (queer) or words like "homo" for homosexual. What they find is the use of the words "anchor babies" in letters or Opinion pieces. "Anchor babies" are words used by extremists to define babies born of illegal alien parents in the United States...The media should voluntarily ban today's hate speech ("anchor babies") against Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and anyone with a Spanish surname, the fastest growing community in North County, just as it bans the N-word.


I strongly object to this latest edit:[6]. Most of the material appears to be original research. We cannot assert ourselves as linguists and make pronouncements on the usage of a term. All we can do is quote those who have made characterizations of the term. This is a major departure from the compromise we agreed to above. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:06, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I object, also. Much of it appears to be OR and does not appear to be supported by the sources cited. --Ramsey2006 18:52, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
The compromise was on the opening paragraphs. Adding material later was an after-thought to once again balance the article from Ramsey's insertions that made it lean POV. NPOV should be our criteria. If that (original research, assertion as linguists, not supported by sources) is true, then I'll hear your case. What is "original research" and what "does not appear to be supported by the sources cited" and where are we "assert[ing] ourselves as linguists"? --Northmeister 00:04, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I've moved the text here while we discuss it. One concern I have off the top is the contrasting of "pejorative" with "descriptive". By analogy, "Jap" is descriptive but it's also pejorative. The two concepts are not exclusive of one another. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:31, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
What is "original research" and what "does not appear to be supported by the sources cited" and where are we "assert[ing] ourselves as linguists"? Once again, if I hear no reasonable discussion of the matters brought up, then I must consider the objections out of order and restore the sourced material. --Northmeister 02:09, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Northmiester, the material that you removed involved sources that explicitely addressed the issue of media use, and documented said use explicitely. This material has absolutely nothing to do with and bears no relation to your subsequent edit, which contains no sources that explicitely address the question, so far as I can see. (Please correct me if the issue is actually addressed in any of the sources that you reference.) Accordingly, I have restored the material and would urge you to review WP:Point. --Ramsey2006 02:57, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I strongly object to your material on the same grounds as your objections to mine. My edits exhibit and with extensive quotations the material of media use and government official use; I've seen no credible objections made. Your edits are materially biased and POV without balance. I would strongly urge you to review WP:NPOV as well as WP:Point considering your edit history here. Again my questions are still not answered about the edits I made: What is "original research" and what "does not appear to be supported by the sources cited" and where are we "assert[ing] ourselves as linguists"? Seems there are no credible objections but violations of WP:Point and WP:NPOV. --Northmeister 03:08, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
We're still discussing this, Northmeister. Your demand to give you instant response isn't helpful. I asked a questioned and you never responded, then replaced the disputed information. Please let us work this out on the talk page, as we've done previously. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 03:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Let me ask again, what is the basis for treating "pejorative" as being the opposite of "descriptive"? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 03:46, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Wrong order. AGAIN, you seem to be dodging the question - why? Again my questions are still not answered about the edits I made: What is "original research" and what "does not appear to be supported by the sources cited" and where are we "assert[ing] ourselves as linguists"? - Also, do not removed sourced material unless you have a credible reason to do so. Further, restoration of Ramsey's edits made in the same vain (but from your POV) is not helping your case. --Northmeister 04:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Chill out and leave the bold text for where it belongs. The assertion that the uses of the term that you provided are not pejorative is only your viewpoint. There is no objective way of determinging whether they are used with a pejorative intent or not. We discussed this at length before and agreed to the formula of "some ohave characterized it as "pejorative" and some have used it without so characterizing it." You agreed to that. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 04:12, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I consider your recent edit - vandalism. Whole-sale deletion of sourced material. Highly unethical. --Northmeister 04:14, 11 September 2007 (UTC) - Restore the edits - engage with me - and lets work this out. Thats civility. Not your recent deletions and then discussion. Show some respect please and good faith. Your recent edit does merit one ounce of approval - it eliminates Ramsey's edits which is the reason I felt the article needed balance. I see not reason not to include in some form the edits I made. Working together rather than at one another works best for me. --Northmeister 04:26, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I have never vandalized Wikipedia. Please do not make provocative claims about other editors. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Your recent deletions are vandalism. You've deleted material you dispute that was properly sourced. You did so knowing I could not respond properly due to the three revert rule. You did so, despite the long discussion above. You deleted material without first discussing the issue here based on YOUR objection and one other editors objection. You removed the material even though I was willing to hear your so-called valid reasons for objecting and to work with you toward a solution. Then after the deletion of material you refuse to collaborate or discuss but snidley go about as if your actions are innocent. They are not and I have a right to reverse blantant blanking and removing of material without proper cause to do so. Your behavior thus far is not unacceptable regarding this issue. If I am wrong - then why the refusal to answer any questions I have or engage in discussion that is two way? That itself is not civil or cordial in any manner. --Northmeister 21:59, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Please report actual vandalism in an appropriate place, such as WP:AIV. Please do not mischaracterize good faith edits as "vandalism". I removed the material which directly contradicted the consensus that all the involved editors, including you, had agreed to. Tather that ntake insult, I recommend you read carefull the parable below, including its links and references. It is very relevant to this discussion we're having and is not, I'm sure, intended as an insult. On the contrary, it self-deprecates the author. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't consider your removal 'good faith' considering we were engaged in a discussion at the time over the objections. The consensus compromise was not broken. I was simply addressing the additions of Ramsey which weighed the article to POV - by offering the other side of the issue with its sources - that the term 'anchor baby' is not characterized as pejorative by some. The 'parable' is not relevant and is an indirect personal insult. I've read it thoroughly. Please remove it as an admin. --Northmeister 00:18, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
"Tather that ntake insult" Damn! And I was feeling embaressed about the number of spelling edits that I had to make in my parable... --Ramsey2006
I hate these laptop keyboards! ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:34, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Questions not answered

The following questions begs to be answered regarding objections to recent edits: Again my questions are still not answered about the edits I made: What is "original research" and what "does not appear to be supported by the sources cited" and where are we "assert[ing] ourselves as linguists"? Further, the recent edits made by Ramsey are not 'explicit' in anything but POV and with the use of non-reliable blogs. The material I've added is 'explicit' and simply shows what the sources indicate and nothing more. Willbeback and Ramsey have objected - well then? --Northmeister 03:17, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Still no answer and waiting. --Northmeister 04:07, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Still no answer and aversions to get off the point now together with wholesale deletion of material that is well sourced, maybe needs editing, but well sourced nevertheless. This is not good faith at all. In a discussion, on objections to sourced edits, one expects candor and reason to prevail but I see none of that here - I was willing to hear arguments against the edits in question; as I've tried numerous times to be civil here and cordial with differing viewpoints. Still waiting. --Northmeister 04:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

You posted three messages under this heading in just over an hour. Please be more patient with your fellow editors.
Regarding your questions, the definition of "original research" is to be found in WP:NOR. One of the problems with the large amount of material you added is that you are the one deciding that the use of the term is neutral and descriptive rather than pejorative and descriptive. Another problem is that the material was so long that it unbalanced the article. A third problem is that it was very confrontational considering we'd just spent the last month working out a compromise to cover the exact issue. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:27, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

The main problem is you've never once attempted to answer any question - rather you reply like above. Those questions are related to Ramsey's objections and your own. I have a right as the contributor of the edits to know why you object; and not to be told the obvious such as WP:NOR in a snide way. The material was sourced and well quoted. It resprents the authors views and not my own. Such an allegation of 'original research' needs to be answered faithfully as do the other questions. Until I recieved polite responses to my edits I consider your deletion and objections fallacious and mean spirited; with no ground in policy nor good faith. If I am wrong then do the proper thing and civil thing and answer my questions. I should not have to repeat myself over and over again - which is what this section is trying to point out. AGAIN: Again my questions are still not answered about the edits I made: What is "original research" and what "does not appear to be supported by the sources cited" and where are we "assert[ing] ourselves as linguists"? --Northmeister 21:50, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

You asked "what is original research", so I provided you both with a link to a definition and with the specific problems in this article. I wasn't snide. Let's investigate those problesm further, since my previous explanation was apparently inadequate. You say that you are simply quoting them, that each quote " respresents the authors views and not my own.": If that's the case then please tell me where in this long quote the author expresses his view on the nature of the term "anchor baby":
  • Hundreds of Northern Californians have contacted me to express their grave concerns with the measure, and I share their concerns...Among other concerns, the bill also does not address the problem of "anchor babies," or children born to illegal immigrants...We are the only major nation in the world that grants birthright citizenship. Failure to reform this policy virtually guarantees that we will face these problems again in the future.
I don't see any comment by the author on the term itself. Could you please highlight where he states his view of it? Further, if we are going to say that the term is sometimes used without negative characterization, why is it necessary to privde these loing quotes in the text itself? We might include them in the fiootnotes for the ease of verificatation, but if all we're saying is that the term is used without negative characterization we don't need to show it by providing hundreds of words of quotations that don't otherwise serve a purpose in the article. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:14, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
The quotes speak for themselves and the authors as you've shown above. They are not excessively long (although I am more than willing to work with this new objection). Your response to my 'original research' question with a link to WP:OR when I was addressing your specific question and expected how you assumed OR applied to the edits is 'snide'. At least you've attempted to address further one question you had about my edits. I can work with trimming the quotes and such to balance the article. The quotations indicate what the opening paragraphs actually say and are well sourced. They do not attempt a new synthesis or original idea but simple display the use of the term - thus the need for the quotes. Further displays of the use of the term 'pejorative' are needed however to make the opening reliable and sustainable. If no one removes the personal insult below then I will as it is an indirect personal attack on myself and my observations here. Your participation with further comments is not the conduct of an admin or civil editor. Wikipedia is not a place for personal attacks and when they occur one expects the offending editor to apologize and correct his ways. An admin should never participate in personal insults or postings which are essentially commentary and personal fiction having no place on this talk page. And, yes, sometimes I type to fast and the letters get out of order for the words called typos or general spelling errors- its my weakness - I admit it - no need to keep pointing that out in quotations - that too is not the conduct of an civil editor with good intentions. Before we go on, please do the right thing and remove the commentary that is a personal attack on this editor and apologize for your participation. --Northmeister 23:33, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
"The quotes speak for themselves and the authors as you've shown above." Yes, the sources do speak for themselves, but they do not speak for you. And when those sources stick their necks out to make a claim, and we report factually on the position of the necks of those sources, then our own necks are not exposed. But you preceeded the quote with this: using the term without negative characterization:. This was you sticking your own personal neck out. Nowhere in the quote is it said that the term is being used without negative characterization. (In fact, it is quite obvious to me that the quote is using the term quite negatively in this case.) The source, while certainly willing to stick his neck out with a controversial statement, does not in fact stick his neck out making the same statement that you are making. Your own neck is stuck out all on its own. You are not reporting on the position of the neck of a reliable source. Instead, you are sticking your own neck out with this statement. --Ramsey2006 23:59, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's leave the neck and address the head - namely our reasoning abilities as human beings. You are telling this editor - that the edits in question do not display what the sources say? If this is so...then that is a legitimate observation. However, using our heads and not necks - we can't assume that those persons using the term 'anchor baby' considered the term pejorative nor non-pejorative but rather simply used the term without negative characterization. There is no assuming or sticking of necks out on anything, except to say that the nature of their comments are negative or pejorative. --Northmeister 00:10, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I am willing to stick my neck out here on the talk page and say that the use in your quote was pejoritive. I would also be willing to stick my neck out with such a statement on the article page if I had a consensus of wikipedia editors backing me up with their own collective necks. What I am not willing to do, and what you have done, is to stick my own personal neck out, in the absense of a consensus, on the article page. In the absense of a consenses, I'm content to allow my reliable sources to stick their own neck out for themselves. After that, they're on their own. I'm hiding over here in my foxhole, while my reliable sources lay there out in the open with their necks exposed. --Ramsey2006 00:45, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I object to the quotes that don't characterize the term unless they stay in the footnotes. I can't imagine we'd accept filling up "Jap" article with examples of that term being used without being characterized as a "pejorative". This article is not a catalog of quotations but anyone can create a Wikiquote entry on this term that we could then link to. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:32, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

A parable

The parable has been moved here for now: User talk:Ramsey2006/Parable --Ramsey2006 18:25, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Recent Edit

I've made an attempt to address concerns of the use of the word 'descriptive' by removing that from the edits under question. Under WP:MOS, opening paragraphs are only a prelude to whats in the article. The recent edits made by myself and Ramsey address the statements made in the opening paragraphs. I do however feel that there is too little information of the use of the term pejoratively and call upon editors to address this to give further balance to the article. I think once this is done, the article will be well-balanced and NPOV. --Northmeister 22:54, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I have warned you for multiple reversions in violation of WP:3RR. Reverted your last edit instead of blocking you, as you did not have a warning in your talk page. If the editwar continues, editors may be blocked and/or the article may end up protected until editors can find common ground. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
What are you specifically talking about? I've not come close to violating this - and if your going to accuse - please be specific as to how this accusation is true. --Northmeister 00:34, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
See the History of the article and check your edits. Note the wording of WP:3RR: A revert, in this context, means undoing, in whole or in part, the actions of another editor or of other editors. This can include undoing edits to a page, deleting content or restoring deleted content, undoing page moves (sometimes called "move warring"), undoing administrative actions (sometimes called "wheel warring"), or recreating a page. An editor does not have to perform the same revert on a page more than three times to breach this rule; all reverts made by an editor on a particular page within a 24 hour period are counted. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:36, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Okay. Nice quote. What in that did I violate? Please let me know? How have I reverted three times in 24 hours? Once for what I consider vandalism and the other edits are minor word changes to address editor objections - that is not reverting. Again - DO NOT QUOTE - tell me specifically how I reverted thrice? Spell it out here - right now. HOW? --Northmeister 00:40, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
There's no urgency to editing this article. Rather than reverting fruitlessly while discussions are ongoing, let's leave the article alone and just find a consensus on the talk page. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:46, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Will, your an admin. Tell me how specifically I've reverted three times or even two in the last 24 hours? How does my three edits warrant a warning? I would LIKE THIS ADDRESSED. If someone is accusing me of something - then they should be specific about it. Otherwise it is a false accusation. --Northmeister 00:50, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll respond on your use page. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:55, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Recent events

I'll leave the recent events alone and not revert to my edits until they are fully discussed and a consensus is formed. I accept the version of the page as is, until that time arrives. That said, and the parable personal insult thus removed as such...let us move on to resolve this issue of my and Ramsey's edits and NPOV. If there is any question on the edits relay them here and I will address them. --Northmeister 02:48, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Malicious deletion of material on talk page

I just saw this. This is unacceptable. I said that I was going to move the parable, as a courtesy to Will. But that's my decision. Nobody else's. It is not up to other editors to maliciously delete relevant material posted here by me. I intend to file a formal complaint within the next couple of days. This is not aceptable behavior. --Ramsey2006 04:02, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

You may do what you wish. But that parable was a personal attack on myself and it deserved to be removed - which I had every right to do. There is no place for personal attacks on Wikipedia. --Northmeister 04:11, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

It is not your place to delete comments by other editors on the talk page. --Ramsey2006 04:13, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
If they are personal attacks whether in the guise of parable or outright - agaisnt myself - then I have every right to do so. --Northmeister 04:14, 13 September 2007 (UTC)


A couple of days ago edits were challenged and this asked politely for specific reasons behind the deletion of material and objections. Thus far none have been forth coming. I do hope all concerned editors - whether they agree with my point about NPOV or not - who are watching this read what has occured. Not only have I been insulted without apology. But, I have been falsely accused of 3RR - blocked - then the reason changed to 'edit warring' as if the deletion started with myself - It did not - Will Beback originally deleted the material in question while we were engaged in discussion. Further, I still have no answers as to why the material was deleted - no answers to the objections made. Instead a three ring circus which innocent parties were brought in (the block situation) has ensued - all for wanting NPOV which is Wikipedia standard. If you read my original comments after objections were made - I offered to consider such objections and then posed my questions - this is when said editors who objected Will Beback (and admin) and Ramsey06 (the editor who personally attacked me with his so-called parable) began a diversion into personal attack (the parable) and reverting that started with Will Bebacks reversion of my edits back to Ramsey06. This all could of been avoided had the said editors acted in a civil and polite manner. Instead I get false accusations, personal attacks, and other such drama - that a mediator needs to go through and see what has occured here and goading done to me - getting me upset at this situation. Wikipedia is suppose to be free of personal insults and attacks and an admin named Will Beback trys to sugar coat the personal insult by stating that the parable wasn't about our discussions here and myself - rather than doing the proper thing and removing the attack. I call upon any fair minded person to reprimand these individuals for: the personal attack (parable) - reverting sourced material without consensus or discussion when that person was an admin who should of known better - starting an edit war that cause me to get blocked for 3RR when no 3RR was committed etc. I'm tired of this treatment - this admin needs to be disciplined and stripped of his status. The other user needs to be blocked for incivility and starting an edit war with his original edits which broke the compromise. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! --Northmeister 04:58, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

The above was deleted by Will Beback. There is nothing above that is a personal attack - rather simple observations of what has occured. I do not call names, or make false allegations. IT IS A PLEA FOR HELP - actually. --Northmeister 05:33, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Rather than complaining about how nobody answered you, you could respond to the comments where two other editors answered you, and are awaiting your replies. --Ramsey2006 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramsey2006 (talkcontribs) 05:42, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
We've been trying to sort out this dispute for almost a month now, without any success. Given the way things are going now, I think we need to do something more. I'm inclined to file a request for arbitration, unless someone can bring up a very good reason not to do so. Any thoughts? Richwales 05:53, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
This is not an appropriate case for the ArbCom. At the core is a content issue, and Arbcom doesn't usually take content disputes. We did make a request for comments, and we received several responses. I think if we evaluate the full discussion we may see that a wide consensus already exists. Perhaps we can ask a respected and uninvolved editor to evalute the situation. If not that then the last stop in the dispute resolution bureauscracy is mediation. There are some other good dispute resolution steps, including taking a break from editing. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 06:31, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Although I am about through with this subject due to recent incidents- I do think arbitration is a good idea. --Northmeister 06:12, 13 September 2007 (UTC) - This is how this current situation began:

I strongly object to this latest edit:[42]. Most of the material appears to be original research. We cannot assert ourselves as linguists and make pronouncements on the usage of a term. All we can do is quote those who have made characterizations of the term. This is a major departure from the compromise we agreed to above. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:06, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I object, also. Much of it appears to be OR and does not appear to be supported by the sources cited. --Ramsey2006 18:52, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

The compromise was on the opening paragraphs. Adding material later was an after-thought to once again balance the article from Ramsey's insertions that made it lean POV. NPOV should be our criteria. If that (original research, assertion as linguists, not supported by sources) is true, then I'll hear your case. What is "original research" and what "does not appear to be supported by the sources cited" and where are we "assert[ing] ourselves as linguists"? --Northmeister 00:04, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

All I ever asked is for those editors making the objections to engage in discussion here and answer my questions - which I could then respond or agree with them. Instead, the whole parable thing began.... --Northmeister 06:21, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Have you considered answering the comments made above, where two editors were indeed attempting to engage you in discussion, and are still awaiting your replies? Indeed, did you ever (prior to deleting it from the talk page) consider the possibility that the parable itself constituted a portion of a response? Why do you pretend that we are not in the middle of a discussion, and that there are not two of us waiting for your replies? --Ramsey2006 06:35, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

With respect to Will Beback's view, I feel this dispute has passed the point where mediation could solve it. If we did in fact have a real consensus a while back, I fear it's long gone now. Even if we do still have a consensus, I don't see how it can help if a single editor can come along afterwards and "boldly" revert it on the grounds that the consensus violates core Wikipedia principles and is therefore void. I'd love to get an outside opinion from a "respected and uninvolved editor", but I fear people have become so polarized here that no sort of advisory, non-binding dispute resolution process is likely to be accepted by all involved. If the arbitration committee does in fact refuse to get involved, I honestly don't know of any other realistic option. Richwales 18:45, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Text of Ramsey2006's edits

On August 17, 2006, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn used the term "anchor baby" in reference to Saul Arellano, in a column critical of his mother, who had been given sanctuary at a Chicago church, and advocating her arrest and deportation on immigration related charges.[1] After recieving complaints, the next day Eric Zorn stated in his defense in his Chicago Tribune blog that the term has appeared in newspaper stories since 1997, "usually softened by quotations as in my column", and stated that he regretted having used the term in his column, and promised not to use it again in the future. [2] On August 23, 2007, the North County Times came under criticism from one of its own former columnists, Raoul Lowery Contreras, in a column titled "'Anchor babies' is hate speech", for allowing the term "anchor baby" to be printed in letters and opinion pieces. [3]

  1. ^ Deportation Standoff Not helping Cause August 17, 2006, Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune,
  2. ^ Sinking 'Anchor Babies' August 18, 2006, Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune, "They use it to spark resentment against immigrants," Rivlin said of his ideological foes. "They use it to make these children sound non-human." To me, that's good enough reason to regret having used it and to decide not to use it in the future.
  3. ^ 'Anchor babies' is hate speech August 23, 2007, Raoul Lowery Contreras, North County Times, Today's North County Times readers can't find an article that uses the infamous N-word, the Q-word (queer) or words like "homo" for homosexual. What they find is the use of the words "anchor babies" in letters or Opinion pieces. "Anchor babies" are words used by extremists to define babies born of illegal alien parents in the United States...The media should voluntarily ban today's hate speech ("anchor babies") against Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and anyone with a Spanish surname, the fastest growing community in North County, just as it bans the N-word.

Ramsey2006 14:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Discussion of Ramsey2006's edits

I propose that the above sentences be added to the article, in a new section titled "Controversies". --Ramsey2006 14:05, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Is there some way to get just the references 10, 11 and 12 to show up in the above section, to help foccus attention? --Ramsey2006 14:11, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe that the foccus of the "anchor baby" article is on the term itself and its use. In that vein I have attempted to locate reliable sources that speak directly and explicitly to the question of usage of the term and controverseys surrounding its use. I will attempt to lay out below precisely how the references from the Chicago Tribune and the North County Times do that, and why they are needed for the article. Since I am posting between classes, it will probably take all day, so please be patient. --Ramsey2006 14:27, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I think that it is essential for this article to have reliable sources that comment directly and explicitly on the issue of usage. Such direct and explicit references to usage are particularly important when editors differ in their interpretation of the usage contained in sources that merely use the term, as appears to be the case here. I realize that such sources can be difficult to find, mainly due to the relative newness of the term, but the task is not impossible.

We already have sources that directly and explicitly refer to the term as pejorative. There has been some discussion about the term being used in newspapers and by politicians. My specific interest here is in sources that directly and explicitly refer to the use of the term in newspapers, and resulting controversies. Politicians will have to wait their turn.

I want to emphasize that I am not attempting to catalouge uses of the term and litter the article with random links to sources that use the term. Indeed, I believe that the first of the three sources would not even meet the criteria for includibility in this article on its own terms, and neither would the first sentence, as I will note below. I will make a special arguement for the relevance of that particular source, due to its relationship to events and controverseys described in the second source, and the direct reference made to it in the second source. (It is no accident that I did not include a quote from the first source in the reference notes.)

I also wish to point out that in constructing the 3 sentences, I was extremely conscious of the need for brevity, in order to avoid my edit from swamping the rest of the article. I wanted to avoid at all costs the prospect of including long quotes from the sources in the text of the article that might give undue weight to the sources on the issues discussed. In the end, I opted for constructing a single sentence for each of the 3 sources, and brutally censored my own desire for inclusiveness of more detail. Constructing a single sentence for each source that included the essential information was indeed quite difficult, and I am not sure that my solution is optimal. There is much more that I would have liked to include, and in fact would have included if I were imbedding it into a longer article.

Another criteria that was important to me was to make it crystal clear to the reader just who's neck was on the line with any controversial statements made, and I did not want it to be my neck. This task was made easier by the fact that both of the individuals are notable enough to have their own wikipedia entries that I could link to, so that readers could conveniently click on them to get a synopsis of the columnists, in addition to including links to the wikipedia articles on the newspapers themselves.

--Ramsey2006 23:52, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

First sentence: On August 17, 2006, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn used the term "anchor baby" in reference to Saul Arellano, in a column critical of his mother, who had been given sanctuary at a Chicago church, and advocating her arrest and deportation on immigration related charges.[1]

(No quote included in reference notes)

Discussion of first sentence and reference:

The column in question appeared in the print edition of the Chicago Tribune, in a regular column by one of its regular columnists. It is not a blog.

As I stated above, I believe that this sentence and its corresponding reference would not even meet the criteria for includability on its own terms, since we are not attempting to produce a catalouge of uses of the term. However, the column in question is the column referred to in the second sentence, where the author publicly backed off of his own use of the term, and promised never to use it again. I believe that the sentence, and the reference, are necessary to provide a context for the controversey mentioned in the second sentence.

Second sentence: After recieving complaints, the next day Eric Zorn stated in his defense in his Chicago Tribune blog that the term has appeared in newspaper stories since 1997, "usually softened by quotations as in my column", and stated that he regretted having used the term in his column, and promised not to use it again in the future. [2]

Quoted in reference notes: "They use it to spark resentment against immigrants," Rivlin said of his ideological foes. "They use it to make these children sound non-human." To me, that's good enough reason to regret having used it and to decide not to use it in the future.

Discussion of second sentence and reference:

The reference for the second sentence is indeed referred to as a blog by the Chicago Tribune. In this respect, it might be of some significance to examine wikipedia policy with respect to the use of such blogs. On WP:Verifiability, there is the following sentence:

  • Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources.

I have left out the citation in this sentence to a footnote, in order to avoid the footnote appearing in the sections elsewhere on this talk page where references are cited from proposed edits. At the end of the above sentence, there is a citation of footnote #5, which appears on the bottom of the wikipedia article WP:Verifiability.

  • "Blogs" in this context refers to personal and group blogs. See e.g., Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/The_Game_(game)_(6th_nomination) for an often-cited example deletion discussion covering this matter. Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professionals and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control. Where a news organization publishes the opinions of a professional but claims no responsibility for the opinions, the writer of the cited piece should be phrasally attributed (e.g. "Jane Smith has suggested..."). Posts left on these columns by readers may never be used as sources.

As to the applicability of this wikipedia policy to the second sentence and its source, I would point out that Eric Zorn is a regular professional columnist for the Chicago tribune, whose opinion columns appear regularly in the print edition of the newspaper, and that his blog is indeed hosted by the newspaper in question, as an adjunct to his print column. Since it is an opinion column, the last sentence of the footnote reguarding attribution also applies, so I would also point out that I have made a great effort to insure that all statements in the second sentence are attributed to him by name, even to the point of (perhaps redundantly and over-cautiously) using his name in both the first and second sentences. Since Eric Zorn is sufficiently notable on his own to have his own wikipedia article, I have also wikified the first appearance of his name (in the first sentence) to enable readers to easily navigate to that page and read a short synopsis on him. I believe that this meets the requirements of the wikipedia policy WP:Verifiability. --Ramsey2006 18:32, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Having, I believe, disposed of the argument against this sentence (and in fact against all the three sentences, for some reason) expressed elsewhere on this talk page that they are from blogs, let us move on to the substance of the second sentence.

Before discussing the main role of the second sentence and its corresponding reference, let me mention a fact that is documented in this sentence for which we have no other source directly and explicitly documenting. That is the fact that the term "anchor baby" has been used in news reports since 1997. (I'm not sure where this date comes from, but that's what he says, and I don't have to know where he gets his information from, or even agree with it, to repeat it here in the wikipedia article, so long as I leave him laying out there all on his own with his own neck exposed instead of my own wise and benevolent neck.) I don't know whether he is referring to articles in the Chicago Tribune or in U.S. newspapers in general (and I don't make any speculation on that matter in the sentence, since he himself gives no indication), but this seems to me to be an important fact worth documenting. I'm content to maintain the exact same level of ambiguity that exists in Zorn's blog on this question. Unlike the Lowery quote that talks about opinion pieces and letters to the editor in the North County Times, this comment is specifically referring to the term being used in newspaper stories, either in the Chicago tribune, or in general. (Of course, in exchange for this stronger statement with regards to where the term is used, he makes no attempt to compare it with the treatment of other specific terms which are banned in some venues. Lowery's statement in the third sentence is needed to specifically document this further fact about usage.) --Ramsey2006 20:10, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

The main gist of this sentence involves a controversy that arose from the use "anchor baby" in a regular opinion column by the author of the blog that appeared in the print version of the Chicago Tribune. What is particularly notable about this controversy is that as a result of complaints, and after further research by the commentator into the usage of the term, he felt it necessary to say in his blog at the Chicago Tribune website that he regretted having used the term in his column and promised that he would not use it again in the future. In attempting to write about this controversy, I found it difficult to fit everything that needed to be said into a single sentence. (My skills are elsewhere, and perhaps someone more skilled in writing could manage to do so.) I found it necessary to restrict the second sentence to the blog entry itself, and relegate information regarding the original column where he used the term to a separate introductory sentence (the first sentence above).

Even with this restriction, deciding what should go into the sentence and what could be left out was not an easy matter. Obviously, the fact that he said that he regretted having used the term and his promise not to use the term in the future had to be mentioned in the sentence, either by quote or paraphrased. I also felt that the stated reasoning behind the decision (that the term is used to make the children sound non-human and spark resentment towards immigrants, as he quoted Rivlin as saying just before saying, "To me, that's good enough reason...") needed to be mentioned. I also felt that his initial defense (in Zorn's words, not mine) of his use of the term should be mentioned, not only for balance with his final decision, but also because it documented directly and explicitly the fact that the term does indeed appear in news stories, something that Northmiester has taken some pains to emphasize here on this talk page. To be fair to Zorn, I also wanted to say that he had enclosed the term in quotation marks and preceeded it by the phrase "so-called". The timing of the blog relative to the column appearing in print (the next day) had to be mentioned, as well as the fact that the issue arose as a result of reader complaints regarding his use of the term. In the end, this was perhaps the most difficult of the 3 sentences to write, and I had to leave out the reason for his decision entirely, relegating it to a quote in the reference note, instead. I also had to leave out the fact that he had used the phrase "so-called" before the term, in order to further soften the effect, although I managed to squeeze in the fact that he had enclosed it within quotation marks by the device of directly quoting a short phrase from his blog where he defended his original use of the term, while at the same time using the direct quote to give his characterization of the manner in which media use of the term is most often used, thereby killing two birds with one stone. I regret not being able to figure out how to fit in the fact that he used "so-called" in front of the term in his original article, but I hope that other editors here can understand my dilemma from their own experience of trying to condense and fit material into wikipedia articles without overwhelming the article by excessive wordiness.

Folks who make their living through writing might find this sort of thing to be second nature, but for those of us who are not professional writers, such discipline in writing is a difficult task indeed. In short, I was determined not to allow my edits to overwhelm this short article, and had to make compromises accordingly. For those who, like Northmeister, feel that the quoted material from Rivlin in the reference note is too short, I would be willing to lengthen it to include the full quote, if there is such a consensus to do so. Again, remember that I was attempting to condense the material as much as possible, as I'm sure that everybody else here who adds material to wikipedia articles attempts to do, with varying degrees of success. Accordingly, if this is what other editors would prefer, I would propose that the quoted portion of the reference for the second sentence be ammended to include the entire Rivlin quote, and that it read as follows:

  • I defended myself -- the term has appeared regularly in news stories since 1997, usually softened by quotations as in my column, and refers to the practice/hopes of illegal immigrants that if their children are born in the U.S. they will serve as an anchor that will help allow their parents to say here. And Doug Rivlin, spokesman for the National Immigration Forum, a leading immigrants'-rights group, said he does not consider the term particularly offensive. However, Rivlin said, it's a "politically charged term" originated and favored by those who are opposed to liberalized immigration laws. And a quick check through various sources confirms this. "They use it to spark resentment against immigrants," Rivlin said of his ideological foes. "They use it to make these children sound non-human." To me, that's good enough reason to regret having used it and to decide not to use it in the future.

--Ramsey2006 00:25, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Third Sentence: On August 23, 2007, the North County Times came under criticism from one of its own former columnists, Raoul Lowery Contreras, in a column titled "'Anchor babies' is hate speech", for allowing the term "anchor baby" to be printed in letters and opinion pieces. [3]

Quoted in reference notes: Today's North County Times readers can't find an article that uses the infamous N-word, the Q-word (queer) or words like "homo" for homosexual. What they find is the use of the words "anchor babies" in letters or Opinion pieces. "Anchor babies" are words used by extremists to define babies born of illegal alien parents in the United States...The media should voluntarily ban today's hate speech ("anchor babies") against Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and anyone with a Spanish surname, the fastest growing community in North County, just as it bans the N-word.

Discussion of third sentence and reference:

The column in question appeared in the print edition of the North County Times. It is not a blog.

Northmeister (and perhaps others, although I don't reelly feel like rereading this entire talk page to find out for sure) has made a point of the fact that news organizations allow the term to be used, and that this distinguishes the term from other pejorative words whose appearence is not allowed. Although I do not agree with his contention that such use by newspapers implies that the use is nonpejorative (see my comments elsewhere on this talk page reguarding the term Japs), I do agree with him that this is something worthy of mention if we can find a reliable source that directly and explicitely says it. The Laury column directly and explicitely documents the fact that the North County Times allows the term "anchor baby" to be used in letters and opinion pieces. In the third sentence, I was able to get in this fact. Furthermore, in the quote in the reference notes, I included not only that fact, but also a sentence from the column that contrasts the situation for the term "anchor baby" with that of three other words which are apparently banned from use in the North County Times, namely the "N-word", the "Q-word" and "homo". While this explicit statement does not perhaps go as far as Northmeister might like in drawing such distinction (and indeed, how could it be expecteed to in a column that is arguing that "anchor baby" is an example of hate speech, and that such differences in treatement should be erased?), it is the only reference that I am aware of that we have that directly and explicitely documents a difference in treatment between "anchor baby" and other specific pejorative terms. If only for this reason alone, I believe that this is an important sentence and reference for inclusion in this article.

What is also of interest in this episode is the ensuing controversey caused by the newspaper allowing the term to be used, and the fact that the controversey got to the point of a former columnist of the same newspaper writing a column calling for a ban on the term. As this wikipedia is about the use of the term 'anchor baby", controversies caused by its use are well worth including, perhaps in a special Controversies section. I should also note that the date of the column (August 23, 2007) indicates that this is a very recient controversey, and it is quite possible that there will be followup columns arguing for just the opposite view, either on the basis of the term supposedly being non-pejorative, or on some sort of free-speech grounds. And the North County Times may even come out with an official statement defending its policy. If so, they should be reported on in a factual manner without taking sides, as I have attempted to do in this sentence.

While the newness of the term does indeed make it difficult to find sources that comment directly and explicitely on its use, it is not an impossible task, and I disagree with Richwales that comments on the other side are inheriently less likely to be written. I am confident that I could find, for example, reliable sources that talk about non-pejorative uses of both the N-word and the Q-word. It may simply be that non-pejorative usages are not common in this case. Or it may be that we just haven't looked hard enough or in the right places. --Ramsey2006 14:41, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

(to be continued---please stand by for content)--Ramsey2006 13:02, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Your edits do not reflect the sources correctly. Eric Zorn recieved two complaints only. The way this edit is written leads one to believe this might be otherwise. Eric Zorn stated he would not use the term because it is 'politically loaded' and unwise - not because he felt it was pejorative or negative. Eric Zorn contacted a leading immigrant rights organization and they felt the term was 'not offensive.' None of this is represented in your edit. They way it reads is misleading. - On Raul Contreras - he is a offensive commentator with bigoted views who personally attacks others (see Italian comment, and comments on African-Americans failure to get jobs): "If immigration critics among us were honest and factual in presenting their views, one would have to pay serious attention to them, but they aren’t. Moreover, they seem to be plain stupid, felony stupid, felony untruthful and felony guilty of betraying the best of American traditions, honesty, truth, justice and all that Jazz.",[7] including congressman Tancredo and Sensenbrener "In fact, until recently those very same Italians and their progeny ruled the American underworld, hooked many on illicit drugs, ran prostitution and gambling throughout the country, corrupted every level of government and created and ran the notorious pornography industries that bring in more money than society can count. Nonetheless, Tancredo claims that Mexican farm workers place the USA in "mortal danger.""[8] - There is more, including attacks on a mother against illegal immigration and in other situations upon a hispanic father who opposes the Iraq war his son died in. Using Contreras blog to back up the misrepresented Eric Zorn material is not reliable sourcing. This is why I am against the edit being included. --Northmeister 15:02, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Please be patient. My arguemet for including the 3 sentences and the 3 references in question may not be completed until sometime this evening, or even tomorrow. I'm paid to teach calculus, not edit wikipedia. I probably will not be answering objections until the original arguement is complete. --Ramsey2006 15:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
The above is not about patience. I am paid to be a novelist and historian - and not edit Wikipedia. I do so out of my love for history and the promise of Wikipedia as an information source. How long it takes for you to answer is irrelevant to my observations on why I oppose inclusion. Your direct response to these objections would be nice. --Northmeister 16:06, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the sentences do indeed reflect the sources accurately, within my self-imposed restrictions for brevity, and without cluttering them up with unnecessary details that the reader is perfectly capable of reading in the references provided. As you can see above, I am open to a longer quote from the second reference being included in the notes for the second reference, if that is the consensus of editors here. As for your objections to a particular commentator, I'm not sure what the revelance might be. Both Zorn and Lowery are included because they are actors in the respective controversies. We do not get to pick and choose when controversies will erupt, and who will be involved in them. All that we can do is to fairly report on them here. This is not the place in which to debate the specifics of various unrelated columns written by either Zorn or Lowery. Whether you or I agree with them on the issues involved in these particular controversies, or on other issues that might be mentioned in other columns and/or blogs that somebody can dredge up, is immaterial to this article. There are many internet forums for the purpose of such discussions. This talk page is not one of them. It is not your neck on the line in the article and neither is it my own wise and benevolent neck on the line. I have attempted to make it quite clear just whose neck is on the line in the construction of the sentences, including links to their respective wikipedia articles for the convenience of the readers. You also mention in your last sentence the use of Lowery to back up Zorn. I'm quite confused by this, since the third sentence is about a totally different controversey than the first two sentences. --Ramsey2006 18:00, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
We'll probably never agree on the issues here. But, I do respect your dedication to your edits and the efforts you've made to convince the community they are indeed okay - in this you've fullfilled the promise of Wikipedia which I highly respect. I also respect community consensus and editing; and you're display above moved us in that direction. Although, I object to Contreas (Lowery) as a reliable source - I am willing to accept your edits, apart from my own to balance the article, on the condition you change the Zorn setence to 'two complaints' as that is all he received - and that you post your edit in its own section "Controversy" or whatnot. It does not belong in the opening. If we agree - then we have in my mind anyway settled this disputed edit. Others may wish to comment on their own. --Northmeister 18:50, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Done. I went with the original shorter quote for brevity in the reference note for the second sentence, since you didnt mention it, but I would have no objection if other editors prefer to replace it with the longer but more complete quote above. I'm not quite as concerned with keeping down the length in the reference notes as I am in the article itself. --Ramsey2006 20:18, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Call for an opinion on 'parable' removal

On the advice of another editor, I'm open to hear the communities opinion on whether I was right to removed the personal attack in the form of the parable under the guidlines at Wikipedia:Remove personal attacks or whether I acted in haste and the parable should be restored. Whatever consensus decides, I'll abide by having stated my case already. --Northmeister 15:28, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

The wise and benevolent editor, due to his benevolence, wished that he could edit the article in such a way as to give the article balance and fairness by reporting on instances of the South American country being referred to by reliable sources with the term "Columbia" in what he felt was a neutral and discriptive manner without qualifications. But since he was unable to find reliable sources explicitly backing up his claim, the wise and benevolent editor decided in the end to opt for wisdom over benevolence.

  • How does this not refer to my comments concerning: 'anchor baby' as not being qualified with 'pejorative' and being used descriptively in some cases?

This a first in a series of observations about what I believe is a personal attack (albeit in disguised manner) upon myself - northmeister and my credibility as the article insinuates that this same said 'wise' editor thought others were 'evil' who opposed his view. This insinuates I do. --Northmeister 16:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how this thread can help us improve the article. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 17:18, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I've moved the parable to User talk:Ramsey2006/Parable, so the question is now moot. Hopefully, this will end the silliness and allow us to move forward with the article. --Ramsey2006 18:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Good. But, when one engages in personal attack it never helps the situation. It only adds fuel to a fire. The sort of silliness displayed in the parable has known to cause war among man in the past. It should never have been posted. Lack of apology speaks volumes. --Northmeister 03:48, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Just let it go already - this has dominated the edits to this talk page for far too long already. Pairadox 03:51, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I initiated this seciton on the advice of an admin - so as to not remove the parable without others input. It would never have dominated anything if it was not posted in the first place and direct discussion and good faith were shown to the editorial process. --Northmeister 03:58, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
So much for letting it go... Pairadox 05:53, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Who's not letting what go? --Northmeister 05:56, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
It was not a personal insult nor a personal attack. Let's just drop it, OK? --Ramsey2006 11:36, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I beg to differ and the fact it was never removed as such speaks volumes as well. What's the point of you or Pair continuing to to add insult here be insisting otherwise. That was the point of this subsection per admin advice. It was an attack upon me, my idea of NPOV for this article, the sources I provided, the way I argued in favor of those sources, the nature of our content dispute, while also belittling myself as the 'benevolent' and 'wise' editor who went far and wide to search google (to no avail according to the story) and who thought the others were 'evil' - both untrue. If you keep insisting otherwise that that parable is innocent then I will be forced to take that parable - piece by piece together with our discussion here that it parallels somewhere else and ask for an opinion of the non-involved editors. Let's let sleeping dogs rest here so we can move on. --Northmeister 14:11, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
The parable has been removed from this talk page. It was never a personal attack in the first place. Further consultation of non-involved editors for a light-hearted parable that has been voluntarily removed from this talk page would be unnecessary drama for the sake of drama. I think that we agree on letting sleeping dogs lie so that we can move on. --Ramsey2006 14:24, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

RfC outcome

Editors who appear to agree that the term is pejorative
  • Rocketfairy
  • Will Beback
  • Italia
  • Brimba
  • Ramsey2006
  • Rei

Editors who appear to agree that the term is not always pejorative:

  • Northmeister
  • Richwales
  • Rocdahut

To the extent that consensus matters, there appear to be a consensus for characterizing the term a pejorative. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 04:48, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure of Italia or Rei. Maybe they could weigh in on this. On - Rocketfairy, Brimba, Ramsey06, Will Beback (4) I concur. On myself, Richwales, Rocdahut (seems to concur here with us) (3. Thus 4 to 3. Thats not consensus. However. I propose we Simply state what Anchor Baby means and then indicate that two sources describe the term as pejorative. Which is all we have. Doing otherwise is the opinion of editors and original research which we all want to avoid. This would eliminate any need for including sources that are neutral or don't use the descriptive. If the above users can agree to the following for the opening I will join them in agreement forming a true consensus:

--Northmeister 05:48, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

FWIW, both Rei and Italia wrote that they think it's a pejorative term. You appear to be right about Rocdahut. So that's 6 to 3.
We should include the New York Times reference if we're listing them. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 05:56, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree, except the New York times specifically describes the term as 'derogutory'(sic). Work that in in the manner above and I have no problem. --Northmeister 05:58, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
There's not a big difference between "pejorative" and "derogatory". But it's not hard to merge it in. I suggest:
  • Anchor baby and jackpot baby are terms used to refer to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants. The terms refer to the role of an "illegal alien's" child, as a US citizen, in facilitating "chain migration" under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965. The terms have been described as "pejorative" by staff writers, Leslie Berestein, of the Union-Tribune,[6], and Edward Sifuentes of North Country Times.[7] It has been called a "derogatory term" by the New York Times.[ref]
Are the individual journalists so notable that they're worth mentioning by name? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 06:07, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I can agree with the above addition. On notability - I don't see how we could simply state the Union-Tribune and North Country Times, absent the authors, without assuming the intentions of the two news outlets. --Northmeister 06:14, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

If we go with this suggestion — which, BTW, was proposed by someone on Wikipedia talk:No original research — I would rather not name the sources in the text of the article, but simply include the references and relegate the exact identification of the sources to footnotes.

Wording such as "These terms have been characterized in various sources as pejorative or derogatory" (followed by a list of references) could be used to cover both "pejorative" and "derogatory". I'm not sure if it really matters if the references corresponding to each of these two words are after each respective word (i.e., "pejorative[references] or derogatory[references]"), or if it's good enough to lump all the references together at the end of the sentence (i.e., "pejorative or derogatory[references]").

I imagine some who object to any softening of the term may resist saying it has "been characterized in various sources as pejorative or derogatory", rather than flatly saying that it is pejorative or derogatory. However, perhaps we can all accept this as a reasonable compromise, equally dissatisfying to those editors as it is to those who have insisted on saying that not everyone uses the term in a pejorative fashion (but who have been rebuffed because we can't all agree as to whether the cited sources are good enough). Richwales 06:22, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Could you post your revised version below as we have above, so I can take a look at how it reads? Thanks. --Northmeister 06:27, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
If we remove the names of the individual sources then we get a last sentence that looks like this:
  • The terms have been described as "pejorative" or "derogatory".[ref][ref][ref]
That's fine with me. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 06:44, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I guess my version would look like this:
  • These terms have been characterized in various sources as pejorative or derogatory.[ref][ref][ref]
Richwales 06:51, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I think Richwales last sentence above is good. I am willing to agree with that with the minor revision that the two references for pejorative go after that and the one for derogatory after that. --Northmeister 06:56, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that's still OK with me too. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 09:24, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
That's ok with me, also. --Ramsey2006 12:27, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

We have agreement from: Richwales, Northmeister, Will Beback, and Ramsey06 on the following from the above discussion:

The opinion of Brimba, Rocketfairy or others would be helpful. Are there any objections to changing the opening sentences to the above from those editors or anyone involved here? --Northmeister 14:24, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Slight aside: I believe the correct name of the statute is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (without the word "Services"). Richwales 14:48, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
The current wording also includes the phrase "or other noncitizens". I'm also not sure that we need two "illegals" in the opening paragraph. It seems redundant and unnecessary. How about the following?

--Ramsey2006 15:03, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

We should use the correct terminology - and not political terminology like 'undocumented' that are 'loaded' and would illicit future objections on that point alone, lets stick with the correct legal terms (illegal immigrant or illegal alien to be more precise). I support the version I've posted with the correct legal terms, as well as without 'other non-citizens' as we have no evidence that Anchor Baby is used to refer to other non-citizens (like legal aliens for example). If a source can be provided that is reliable, I'll support inclusion of 'other non citizens' however. Richwales last sentence we have agreement on. Considering Ramsey06's observation on using 'illegal' twice I agree. I propose the following:
--Northmeister 15:23, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not keen on the sentence, "The terms refer to the role of the child, as a US citizen, in facilitating "chain migration" under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965." I don't want to argue about it now, but I don't want to be recorded as agreeing to it either. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:22, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I think that we should probobly be clear that the main force of the consensus is on a particular sentence, and that there may still be issues and "loaded terms" in the paragraph that might elicit future objections. My feeling at this point is that most such objections are better raised after this talk page has been archived, and we have a long blank page to work So I won't belabor the "undocumented immigrant" vs "illegal immigrant" vs "illegal alien" issue right now. As for the "or other noncitizens" question, I would offer a couple of observations. First, there are only three well known individuals that I can think of right off hand that I have reciently seen commonly called an "anchor baby" on the web, namely Saul Arellano, Alberto Gonzales and Bill Richardson. Of the three, a quick check of their corresponding wikipedia articles shows that only Arrelano appears to have parents who are undocumented. The Gonzales article says that up to 3 of his grandparents may have been undocumented, but even this seems to be uncertain, and in any case, no mention is made of even a possibility of either of his parents being undocumented. In Bill Richardson's wikipedia article, his father is referred to as a "Naturalized American", so I am left wondering how 2 out of the 3 cases that immediately come to mind where famous individuals have been called "anchor babies" can not have undocumented parents if the restriction to children of undocumented immigrants is really how the term is used in practice. I think that there are more general usages of the term for US born children of immigrants in general, and even as a synonym for Hispanic. --Ramsey2006 21:15, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
FWIW, Michelle Malkin has been called an "anchor baby" in many blogs. IIRC, her parents were in the U.S. on a student or work visa.
I knew that I was missing one. --Ramsey2006

·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:05, 14 September 2007 (UTC) Brimba appears not to have edited anything on Wikipedia since September 3. I put a note on his talk page, and I also sent him an e-mail message just now, alerting him to our new attempt at a compromise and asking for his input. Richwales 21:21, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

With reguards to the "or other non-citizens" question, I looked at one of our already existing sources, and note that "anchor baby" is defined as follows in the New York Times:
  • anchor baby: a derogatory term for a child born in the United States to an immigrant. Since these children qualify as American citizens, they can later act as a sponsor for other family members. --Ramsey2006 21:38, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Scope: After (nearly) arriving at a consensus before, an editor claimed the consensus only concerned the opening paragraph. I assume that this proposal covers the whole issue of the pejorative nature of the term, and that the section "Opposite views of the term" will be deleted. If anyone disagrees now is a good time to discuss it. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:55, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
What would be the impact on the 3 sentences that I am currently in the process of writing arguements for inclusion? I was assuming that added material on controversies was a separate issue. Is this consensus intended to preclude the addition of such new material as it becomes available? (I had originally just tacked them on the end of the first paragraph, and they were later moved to the bottom of the new section. The most appropiate place may be a totally different section with a title like "Controversies". I do want to make sure that I have the opportunity to argue for their inclusion, and that they would not be automatically ruled out of order based on this consensus that we are forming here. I don't think that the article is in a finished state, and new material (either already existing or newly written) could become available that comments directly and explicitely on usage (on any side of this issue, I might add), and further controversies reguarding its use may arise, and be commented on as well. --Ramsey2006 22:15, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I was just addressing the issue of how we cover the characterization of the term as a "pejorative". Controversies over the use of the term that don't seek to assert the term is pejorative or neutral are outside of the scope of this discussion. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:39, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm confused a bit at where this is at. Does the latest proposed opening suit the editors engaged here? If this is so, then I would propose that this opening replace the current. If there are still issues then it is best to be clear and spell them out. As far as 'undocumented' - that is a political term that those in favor of immigration reform would object to. Lets stay away from such terms. Rather, I support 'illegal immigrants' the most due to its use by the Associated Press or 'illegal alien' as the lawful term. --Northmeister 00:02, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Do we have a source for "The terms refer to the role of the child, as a US citizen, in facilitating "chain migration" under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965"? Do we agree to remove "Opposite views of the term"? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Until we ferret out the opening - I think we should leave 'opposite views' alone for now. As far as the sentence above - why do you think that this definition is wrong? What in it are you objecting to; thus your request for a source? --Northmeister 02:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. The opening should summarize the article. If you are planning to revive your contested edit then we should discuss it now. Regarding the "chain migration" sentence, it makes a positive assertion. What's our source for it? If we can't source it we should remove it. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 03:05, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Were not in disagreement on that (opening summarizing the article). As far as my contested edit - I've never recieved one answer to the questions I posed. When those answers come - we can engage in a proper discussion on those. As it stands now - I object to Ramsey's edits due to the nature of one of the sources (notability and credibility especially) - so as long as those contended edits are not resubmitted into the article - my edits would not be needed to balance the POV brought to the article by them. As far as the definition 'chain migration' - Are you saying that this definition is not the accepted one and if so what is for anchor baby? --Northmeister 16:25, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's be absolutely clear about one thing. My edits (specifically the 3 sentences and 3 corresponding references) bear absolutely no relation to your new section, except for the proximity in time and the fact that you moved them to the bottom of your new section. You had no objection to their inclusion until your own material got removed by another editor, and you only later decided to retaliate by removing the 3 sentences. Let's not try to hold my 3 sentences hostage to other agendas in violation of WP:POINT. They bear no relation to the consensus that we are attempting to acheive here. --Ramsey2006 19:33, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's refrain from getting personal and accusing others. You need to chill out and figure out why your edits are not acceptable and address those concerns without hostility or personal attacks. --Northmeister 00:03, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
You need to answer Will's question directly and without equivocation. Stop pretending that the 24 sentences that you added have anything to do with the 3 sentences that I added. Not a single one of your 24 sentences touches on either of the 2 controverseys involving the term that my 3 sentences address. If you believe that your 24 sentences belong in the article, then you need to state your intention to argue for their inclusion up front and unambiguously just as I am for my 3 sentences, and stop trying to use the mere threat of adding your 24 sentences as some sort of negotiating leverage over my 3 sentences. Whether or not my 3 sentences are included in the article will be decided on the merits of the edits. Just answer Will's question with respect to your 24 sentences clearly, honestly and unambiguously, without reference to my 3 sentences. A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice. Either you are planning to revive your 24 sentences or you are not. No more talk of holding onto the threat of using your 24 sentences as an easy means to attempt to sabotage my 3 sentences. --Ramsey2006
Let's stop the personal accusations or assumptions of my intentions. I object to your edits on the grounds stated above. Let's answer those objections in a calm and cordial manner. --Northmeister 02:09, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
The material the Ramsey2006 is proposing does not concern whether the term is pejorative or neutral. The material that Northmeister proposed asserted that the term is sometimes used in a neutral manner. The two sets of material don't appear to be related. What's the exact connection? Why should the inclusion of one set be dependent on the other set? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 08:01, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
It is not that they are dependent. What is at issue has been addressed above. I object to the use of Contreras on the same grounds that you've objected to the use of Cosman in the past elsewhere. Contreras, although Republican, is a political flamethrower and extreme, on the the issue of immigration. I've provided examples above of his rhetoric regarding African-Americans and jobs, Italian-Americans and the mob, Hispanic-American's who oppose the Iraq war, and so on. His objections to the North Country Times (which he is no longer associated) raises questions outside of his extreme and bigoted rhetoric - It raises concerns over vendetta or legitimacy. It is like quoting David Duke on issues pertaining to Race on a page pertaining to the term "Gringo". There has to be better sources that are more reliable. If Cosman, who has a PHD is not considered authoritative on grounds of right-wing extremism, then I beg to differ with the notion that Contreras is. On the issue of Eric Zorn, that sentence revised to include the specific 'two' complaints (all he received); and to include the background notions of the immigrant rights group behind his decision not to use the term; would be acceptable. As far as my assertion of balance - we should provide examples of how the term is used - that would be the NPOV and right thing to do; whether we agree with the usage or not. I've re-read your objections and I am open to truncating my edits and making them acceptable; but some mention of how the term is used is not out of the ordinary or out of context for this article. --Northmeister 13:31, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I have established a section devoted specifically to discussion of the 3 sentences in as much detail as is necessary, however negligent I may have been so far in completeing my arguements in favor of their insertion. It may be better to discuss these issues there, instead, once I complete the arguements (which, dispite my rather characteristic procrastination, will happen eventually). When you are asked about your intentions with respect to your 24 sentences, there is no need to refer to my 3 sentences, since, as you say, they are not dependent. --Ramsey2006 14:41, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
They are not dependent but complimentary; together the edits achieve NPOV - apart the article is weighed toward POV which I am sure was not your intention? --Northmeister 02:22, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I see no synchronicity between your 24 sentences and my 3 sentences. --Ramsey2006 03:18, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

We seem to be going in circles. Let's go ahead and post the sentence that we've already agreed on. Then let's see about Northmeister's material, because it's related to the topic of pejorativeness/neutrality issue. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 06:02, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I would feel more comfortable if we could have heard from Brimba first, but I think the sentence we've agreed on is on much firmer ground than the first compromise that he vetoed three weeks ago, so I think it's reasonable for us to go ahead with what we've got now. Richwales 06:29, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll second that notion as well. --Northmeister 10:35, 17 September 2007 (UTC)-

Without characterization

I also propose this be added as the final one after our agreed 'various' sources sentence: The term, however, has been used, by Congressman and the press since 1997, without characterization.[ref's]. - This sentence is factual and can be backed up with reliable sources indicating as such - including Ramsey's Zorn source. It also reflects what is later in the article per WP:MOS standards. --Northmeister 10:45, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I object to adding an extra sentence attempting to comment on what reliable sentences don't say. It's hard enough getting a consensus on what reliable sources do say. --Ramsey2006 11:37, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
What reliable sources 'don't say'? Reliable sources indicate (including your own) in an explicit manner that the term is used without further characterization. There's nothing to debate here as we are not commenting on anything other than fact. Are you saying the sources always characterize anchor baby? We can't infer or even say that. It would be intellectually dishonest not to show reality as the sources indicate. including your own. --Northmeister 11:45, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I have used the term "anchor baby" repeatedly on this talk page, including in the very sentence that I am now typing, without characterizing it in any way. While I am by no means a reliable source, I would feel that my words and my thoughts were being misrepresented if somebody were to make a special point of saying that in an wikipedia article in an attempt to make some POV point, even if the statement about is a technically true one about my words. Let's not misrepresent quotes, even with technically (and vacuously) true statements. --Ramsey2006 12:20, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I would also point out that my 3 sentences are not yet part of the article. If they are included in a new section called "controversies", and editors feel a need for a summary sentence to be included in the intro (and I'm not sure that there is such a need), I would suggest a short, factual and non-controversial statement that will serve as a summary of the controversies section as a whole, such as: Use of the term in newspapers has been a source of controversey. This presents the fact of existing controversies without taking a stand on the issues involved. It also allows the 3 sentences and their refrences speak for themselves, as well as not requiring the intro to be rewritten every time another controversy surrounding this term pops up in the future. If specific controversies arise over the use of the term by specific politicians or others, the phrase "in newspapers" could simply be deleted from the intro sentence, or the phrase "and politicians" added. Leave the (very breif descriptions of the) details of the specific controversies to the controversies section itself. --Ramsey2006 —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 12:07, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Your sentence above doesn't reflect the reality. Sources indicate the term being used and being used without the word 'pejorative' added. Your controversies section would add undue weight to the complaints of 'two' persons to Zorn, and would attempt to use the opinion of Contreras whose bigotted views of Italian-Americans and African-Americans, and negative attacks on Hispanic Americans who oppose the Iraq war, indicates his credentials as a source opposed to the term are laughable at best and certainly not reliable at most. My sentence reflects reality pertaining to the use of the term as does the Zorn source. --Northmeister 12:28, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
This is neither the time not the place to discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of my proposed 3 sentence edit. There is a section set up for that. I mention a potential summary sentence of a potential "Controversies" section here only because you seemed to be arguing for adding such a summary sentence that seemed innapropriate for that task. --Ramsey2006 12:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
When we have a source that says, "the term has been used without characterization", then there'll be no question about including that assertion. This was discussed in Wikipedia talk:No original research#Defining terms by interpreting quotations, and there was no support for including speculstive orginal research of this type. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 16:45, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Although I do not agree with your rhetoric above - nor with the argument above - as that is in violaton of the spirit of WP:NOR - and veneer towards POV - I'm ready to move on with this. For, now, as the opening reads - its fine with me. Now to other things. --Northmeister 03:18, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

temporary section break for convenience

You will find plenty of objections to other terms also, backed up by statements from a diverse group of well respected journalistic organizations. But this is best discussed on an empty talk page. I'm really trying to avoid getting into that for the moment. As for "those in favor of immigration reform" or "advocating immigration reform", that is yet another phrase that we will need to discuss at the appropriate time. There have been millions of people who have marched in the streets for immigration reform who might hold views differing from those presented. I do think that we need to add "or other non-citizens" to account for the people who get called "anchor babies" and whose parents are not undocumented. --Ramsey2006 00:29, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I think your taking an expanded view of 'Anchor Baby' beyond what is held as the accepted view of the term. In the examples I've given; the term is used to describe children born to illegal immigrants who serve as an 'anchor' through which other family members can gain citizenship. Are there any sources indicating that phrase is a part the accepted definition? --Northmeister 02:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I posted the definition from the New York Times above. It talks about children born in the US to immigrants, not just undocumented immigrants. If you like, I could find dozens of links to Alberto Gonzales, Bill Richardson and Michelle Malkin (who I forgot about earlier until Will reminded me) being called "anchor babies". Clearly some people use it in a wider sense than others. The New York Times recognizes this wider usage. --Ramsey2006 02:53, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The original controversy that we we've been spending the last several weeks trying to come to an agreement over was whether the article should say "anchor baby" is pejorative, period, or whether it should also say some sources use it non-pejoratively. I think we're pretty close now to agreeing to say that "various sources" characterize the term as pejorative or derogatory, and that this formula would satisfy those of us who insist that not everyone uses it pejoratively, even if we can't agree on any sources to include that do clearly, unequivocally identify the term as neutral. Are we going to be able to agree on this? I really think we ought to clear this up before moving on to other things like exactly who can be a parent of an "anchor baby". Thoughts? Richwales 03:56, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that we've got basic agreement on that. It's been a while since I've seen anybody discuss the wording of the last sentence of the opening paragraph. That wording of that sentence doesn't seem to have changed in the various versions that have been bandied about. People seem to have some concern about what is and is not covered under the consensus. For example, I don't want my agreement to be interpreted as automatically overruling the inclusion of the 3 sentences that I am arguing for inclusion, because I don't see them as really connected to this issue. (I think that my sentences got caught up in all this by an accident of timing more than anything else.) There are some things that I don't think we should even attempt to address until we have archived the current discussion and have an empty talk page. (ex: "undocumented immigrant" vs "illegal immigrant") --Ramsey2006 08:38, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
For the record, This is the last sentence as it currently stands. (I have added the quote from the New York Times definition to its reference notes, since it gets cut off in the middle on the web. I made a quick trip to the library this afternoon to get the rest of the sentence. It is complete.)
  • These terms have been characterized in various sources as "pejorative"[17][18] or "derogatory".[19]

--Ramsey2006 08:53, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

The term

The problem with this article is that it describes a term that is not used in any serious book, peer-reviewed article, or scholarly publication, the sources being from the media only. The term is obviously a rhetorical device used to assert a specific political viewpoint, and as such it is quite difficult to develop a good-quality article that is balanced. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:58, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

The few books I found that mention this term, are from anti-immigration advocates. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:01, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I think Jossi's observations hold particular merit; which should guide us as we work to make this article up to par regarding WP:NPOV and WP:NOR - which are my concerns and have been all along; especially since I personally consider the term 'anchor baby' pejorative myself. --Northmeister 13:36, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Commenting on what reliable sources don't say

Is this our task, here? I thought that we had moved beyond this and were converging on a consensus, based on what reliable sources do say. --Ramsey2006 13:47, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Is there a wikipedia policy page here somewhere covering when it is and is not appropriate to comment on what reliable sources don't say? If there isn't, then perhaps there should be, since this would seem to be an issue that transcends this one rather minor wikipedia article. --Ramsey2006 13:48, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Section on "Opposite use of the term"

I propose that this entire section be deleted. It consists of the following sentence, along with a number of references:

  • The term "anchor baby" is used without characterization by some in the media.

(1) We should not be commenting on what our sources don't say. Instead we should talking about what they do say.

(2) Several references are not even media references. References 2 and 3 point to webpages of politicians. (Curiously enough, in both cases the politician is actually using the term pejoratively.)

(3) Of the only two references that do actually comment on the use of the term (ref's 5 and 6), they do not describe "opposite use" at all. Reference 5 (Zorn: "Sinking Anchor Babies") explicitely talks about the term being used to create resentment and make the children seem non-human, and the author's promise not to use the term in the future. As for reference 6 (Lowery: "Anchor Babies is Hate Speech"), nothing in the article conflicts with the title, which pretty much speaks for itself. --Ramsey2006 13:20, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Let's remove it. --Northmeister 13:22, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Automatic Citizenship

It's my understanding that the United States is one of (if not the only) industrial nations to allow automatic citizenship to people born in the US. I think this fact, if verified, ought to be in the article to explain why this is such an American-Mexican phenomenon and why it is more controversial. Ryratt 00:46, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Depends on what you mean by "industrial," but: most of the Americas (including Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico) provide unqualified birthright citizenship. The U.S. inherited jus soli from Britain (although British citizenship is more complicated now because of its imperial legacy). Continental Europe has been moving away from blood-based citizenship since World War II (much as the U.S. abandoned race-based citizenship after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery). The U.S. and Canada are relatively unusual in their openness to immigrants, but I doubt that is why the policy is controversial; whether in the U.S. or in less open countries in Europe, any measure giving citizenship to minorities is controversial among a certain segment of the population.

Incidentally, the article links to "birthright citizenship in the U.S.," which provides for a fuller discussion of the issue. --Rocketfairy 02:58, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Problems with recent (March 2008) edits

I have several concerns about the latest round of edits to this page.

  • The changes to the intro — especially the rewriting to mention, by name, only two specific sources (one of which is obscure) — could be seen as an effort to discard the consensus from last summer (August/September 2007) as to whether we could say that "anchor baby" is, is not, or sometimes is used pejoratively. I realize that last year's consensus was an informal process and that no one is technically obligated to preserve it, but I do think it's reasonable to suggest that later editors should read that discussion carefully and ask themselves if the end result was really so objectionable as to justify tossing it aside and possibly opening up another edit war.
  • Yes, some of the sources cited to show negative uses of "anchor baby" could be classified as op-ed. However, given the question at hand — namely, whether there is evidence of this term being commonly used or considered in a negative light — I have to ask if using op-ed sources is really all that bad.
  • The "Use of the term" section has been removed without any apparent explanation. This section seemed relevant and balanced, and I would object to its removal without at least some attempt to justify said action.
  • The edits made to the "Birthright citizenship" article seem to have upset its neutrality. In place of text which sought to describe both sides of a controversy, the current version gives undue weight to a single viewpoint. I particularly object to the removal of all mention of the Wong Kim Ark case, which I feel needs to be cited as a counterbalance to the quote of Senator Howard's speech in Congress. Please remember that even if you disagree with Wong Kim Ark, a Supreme Court decision does trump a speech made in Congress — even if that speech appears to be a reliable description of the original intent of the law that the court chose to interpret differently.
  • If there are objections to mentioning that some people want to restrict birthright citizenship via legislation or a constitutional amendment, it seems to me that you should at least give people a chance to augment the article with sources, rather than summarily remove the text on the grounds that it is unsourced. As far as I'm aware, Wikipedia policy on sources does not demand that an unsourced statement shall be immediately removed; a reasonable time for addition of sources should normally be allowed.

I'll admit that I've made a lot of contributions to this page (and related pages), but I am not trying to claim ownership of the page and am perfectly willing to support the mention of positions I personally disagree with, as long as the article as a whole represents a good-faith effort to be neutral.

I would also propose that if someone is going to be doing a lot of editing — especially on pages where controversy is likely to arise — it would be prudent and courteous to consider setting up a Wikipedia account rather than continuing to edit anonymously. I respect the fact (even if I personally have qualms about it) that anonymous editing is accepted on Wikipedia, but I still think the idea of setting up an account is worth your consideration. Richwales (talk) 15:41, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

With regards to the intro, could you clarify what exactly your objection is? I mean, the article still lists the same references and the same sources which state that the term is sometimes used pejoratively. It simply no longer conceals the sources which are provided (by dressing them up to look more numerous or hiding their notability). It appears that you are objecting to the fact that such concealment was removed - that, now, the article makes clear the notability of the sources provided (a website of dubious notability and a couple of anonymous letters to the editor of a major magazine). Are you objecting to the fact that something that was always in the article is now being pointed out?
Shouldn't obscure writing be cleared up in Wikipedia articles?
Regarding the Op-Eds, again, I'm unclear as to the question you are asking. Are you asking if using unreliable sources is bad?
Regarding the removal of a great deal of unsourced content (ie. the "terms of use" section, substantial portions of the Birthright citizenship section, etc.), it was removed because it didn't have a source. According to Jimbo Wales, content "should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced". Considering the preponderance of unsourced content in this article, I dealt with it in bulk, aggressively removing all unsourced content at once. That's in line with Wikipedia policy. However, it is suggested that we consider moving unsourced content to the talk page. In hindsight, there would have been more community building if I'd done that. In the future, I will continue to remove unsourced content from the article, however, I will make an effort to move that content to the discussion page (my Internet connection is unreliable, with a tendency to drop out from time to time, so I can't promise that I'll always do so, but I will try to make an effort). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
You stated that you "particularly object to the removal of all mention of the Wong Kim Ark case. As an act of good faith, I got a source for US v. Wong Kim Ark, and readded that case along with the source. Again, my objection was to a lack of a source. As there was such a large amount of content here which didn't have a source, I didn't go looking for sources for all of it. However, as this particular removal concerns you, I did find a source for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand the relevance of the court cases to the term "anchor baby". The term doesn't appear to be used in the decisions. Why are we getting into the legality of birthright citizenship when that alreaday has an article? This article is just about a term, not about the topic of birthright citizenship. Unless sources combing the two (use of the term and legal cases) then I think that material shouold be removed. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Presumably, the connection of court cases on birthright citizenship to the term "anchor baby" lies in the fact that the same people who use and promote the term "anchor baby" also object to current US law on jus soli citizenship — and, indeed, they came up with the term precisely because they oppose jus soli citizenship. I agree, though, that it might be better to leave out a lengthy section on birthright citizenship here, and instead simply acknowledge the controversy over birthright citizenship, with a wikilink on the phrase pointing to the article on that subject. Richwales (talk) 00:13, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

With respect, I do still feel you are being too aggressive in your removing unsourced content without either making any effort to add sources yourself or giving others a fair chance to do so. I also think there are a few instances here where you've taken stuff out which others could reasonably have thought was adequately sourced (but you disagreed).

Please consider reading (or rereading) WP:PROVEIT (the whole section, not just the bits about removing unsourced material) — as well as WP:EP (especially the subsection entitled "Preserve information"); WP:CON (work with other editors where reasonably possible); WP:BURO and WP:LAWYER (don't get overzealously literalistic about the way policies should be implemented); and even WP:IAR. Also please reread WP:OR; the ban on original research does not, to the best of my knowledge, demand that specific words or phrases in the article must literally appear in a source or prohibit us from using ordinary common sense in understanding or interpreting what a source is clearly saying.

Jimbo's comment about removing unsourced content aggressively and immediately was, as I understand it, aimed most specifically at unsourced material in biographies of living persons. I hesitate to prooftext his remark as carte blanche for the instantaneous removal of all unsourced or inadequately sourced material; accepted conventions like the {{fact}} tag would not exist in Wikipedia if the rigid, inflexible mandate was to shoot all such material on sight, and official policies such as WP:IMPERFECT would surely not be tolerated if this really were what Jimbo had meant.

And if you do feel that material in this article was inadequately sourced and needed to be removed — perhaps because it had lain around too long without anyone making any effort to fix it up — I think it is reasonable to request that you also do take some of the positive steps outlined in the policies, such as taking the initiative to move deleted material into the talk page with a request for someone to find a source and restore a properly sourced version to the article.

Finally, I would suggest once again that you consider setting up a Wikipedia account rather than continuing to post anonymously. Especially in an article like this, where there is likely to be controversy, you risk the very real possibility of finding yourself blocked from editing the page if someone were to misinterpret your actions as vandalism and sought "semi-protection" of the article. Please understand that, by saying this, I myself am not accusing you of vandalism at the present time and wouldn't dream of trying to abuse the rules in this way to force you off the page just because I may disagree with your editing style or choices — but I obviously can't speak for others, including possibly editors or readers who haven't discovered this article yet and might get the wrong idea from a superficial examination of the revision history, or editors who might think you aren't paying sufficient heed to the "spirit of the law" and might feel your edits are in fact disruptive. Richwales (talk) 07:17, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Any discussion about whether unsourced content should be kept in the article should be moved to the talk pages of WP:OR in my opinion. If you want to continue the discussion there, I'll join you.- (talk) 11:20, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. My impression is that WP:RSN is the most appropriate place to discuss questions about whether something is a reliable source or not. More general discussion on what the policy is (or should be) would probably belong on WT:V. Regarding the "original research / synthesis" issue, I posted something last night on WP:ORN, in the section called "Clarifying Summarizing vs. Original Research". All three of these pages are now on my watch list. Richwales (talk) 16:23, 28 March 2008 (UTC)


The website of the San Diego Union-Tribune is They place all their archived news stories there. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:19, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Read the website for Signs on San Diego. It states that not all content that appears in Signs appears in UT. Specifically, among the content it states is not in UT, "reports from The Associated Press, Reuters and other wire services". You can't assume that the article didn't come from another wire service (or which one). All you know for a fact is that it is in Signs on San Diego. Further, WP:Cite specifically states, "Say where you found the material". Another problem exist with your edit as well. Your edit attributes an anonymous letter to the editor of the Chicao Times to the New York Times. As for the actual New York Times reference, I found it here I won't make these edits at this time due to potential edit warring, but they will be fixed by me if not before at an appropriate time.- (talk) 20:48, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
The writer of the "Union-Tribute" article is specifically described as a staff writer, so it's not from the wire services. The Chicago Tribune writer says he agrees that the use of the term makes "these children sound non-human" And that's the sources for the "dehumanizing" term. If you like we can quote the actual line but I think we can summarize it instead. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:53, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

What if

What if 1 of the parents is an illegal immigrant and the other is a citizen? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:11, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Then it is labeled a sham marriage. Terjen (talk) 16:53, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with the effort to censure the use of the word anchor baby which is a perjorative word for the results of an antisocial action but sometimes the relationships between a citizen and an illegal alien are real. I disagree with the statement by TerJen. BTW My grandfather a naturalized citizen who was an immigration agent referred to himself as an anchor baby because they were legal residents in his previous country but where they had migrated from an even poorer one in late pregnancy order to have him born in a country with a higher standard of living. RichardBond

Pete Domenici

Since Sen. Pete Domenici's "illegal alien" mother married a US citizen, I have to question whether it's really relevant to mention him here. AFAIK, no one has seriously proposed denying birthright US citizenship to a child born in the US with one American parent, even if the other parent is here illegally. Richwales (talk) 21:03, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

  • That's a good point. I'm going to remove the material. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:17, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there is an exact definition of "anchor baby". I think it's interesting and relevant since this page is about the offspring of illegal immigrants. Besides the article states that his father was also an illegal immigrant but because he served in the world war he was able to become a citizen. His mother was a citizen as well but not until Domenici was an adolescent. I think it's relevant and part of the reason people come to wikipedia, "I didn't know that!" kind of fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grant23 (talkcontribs) 17:26, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Rich, this article isn't about wheter the offspring the illegal immigrnats should be citizens or not. It's about facts on them. So the information on Domencici is valid as he is the offspring of an illegal immigrant so I don't agree with your reason for deleting this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grant23 (talkcontribs) 17:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I think this information on Sen. Pete Dominici should stay as it is relevant to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MGM87 (talkcontribs) 20:02, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Senator Dominici wasn't an anchor baby, why should this be in here? - Schrandit (talk) 20:37, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm still not at all convinced that it belongs here, in this article, because (AFAIK) no one has questioned whether Domenici ought to have had US citizenship from birth, and the story doesn't seem to suggest that Domenici's birth helped (or was intended to help) his mother to gain US citizenship. Maybe this account could go somewhere in the article about illegal immigration to the United States, but I don't really think it belongs here in the "anchor baby" article.

I can't find anything in the New York Times story, BTW, saying that Domenici's father was an illegal immigrant who got US citizenship as a result of military service in WWII. The story calls Domenici's father "an Italian-born American citizen" and (as far as I could tell) doesn't say anything else about his background. Is there some other source of info about his father's status? Or did I miss something in the cited story?

And I also must disagree with the idea that this page isn't about whether the US-born children of illegal aliens ought to be US citizens. As I see it, the invention of the term "anchor baby" is thoroughly tied up with the whole question of birthright citizenship — and I've never heard anyone call such kids "anchor babies" without also saying or strongly implying that they ought not to be considered US citizens. Richwales (talk) 21:53, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm going to restate my agreement with Richwales on this. Domenici does not fit the description of an "anchor baby", and so does not belong in this article. We have several other articles concerning illegal immigration to the U.S. and it may be worth including in one of those. Just not here. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I'll go even further. Reguardless of the supposed merits (or lack thereof) of individual listings, a trivia section listing individual "Anchor Babies" has no more place in this article than would a trivia section listing individual "Wetbacks" or a trivia section listing individual "N****rs would have in those articles. Such listings of individuals are simply not the purpose of the articles. The purpose of the articles are to explain (hopefully in an encyclopeadic fashion) the terms.--Ramsey2006 (talk)

Ongoing dispute in "birthright citizenship" article

There is an unresolved dispute going on in the "Birthright citizenship in the United States of America" talk page over whether it is appropriate for that article to use "anchor babies" (or perhaps "so-called 'anchor babies'"), instead of some other expression such as "U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants". A request for comments (RfC) has been posted, but no new outside participants have chimed in yet. Anyone who is willing to come over — whatever your position on this question might be — and help form a consensus would be welcome. Thanks. Richwales (talk) 01:29, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Elk v. Wilkins and U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark

I'm concerned about the way these two cases are mentioned in the article without anything even approaching sufficient context to help the reader understand what connection, if any, they have to "anchor babies" or "birthright citizenship". Neither Elk nor Wong was ever alleged by anyone to be an "anchor baby".

I do think Wong Kim Ark does need to be mentioned, since it is the seminal Supreme Court case firmly establishing, in most people's minds, jus soli (birthright) citizenship as settled US law in the post-Civil War era. And I would be happy with stating that the fact that Wong's parents were legal residents has caused some experts to question whether Wong Kim Ark truly does apply to US-born children of illegal immigrants, and that for this reason some in Congress have introduced bills which they have believed could deny citizenship to such children without running afoul of the court decision. But simply summarizing the holding in Wong Kim Ark, without any explanation of how it fits in with the rest of the subject, could easily give a reader the impression that we're saying Wong Kim Ark definitely does not apply to "anchor babies" — a POV conclusion which, AFAIK, is not supported by a consensus of sources.

As for Elk v. Wilkins, I'm not convinced that this case even deserves to be mentioned in this article at all. The current one-line summary would certainly give a reader the misimpression that we're saying Elk might very possibly apply to "anchor babies" — when, in fact, any reasonably careful reading of the court's opinion makes it obvious that it applied specifically and exclusively to the special status of American Indians born on reservations and had nothing at all to do with US-born children of illegal immigrants. If any mention of Elk is to be kept in the article at all, I strongly feel that it needs to be qualified by adding the extra detail that the subject of the case was an Indian who wanted to be recognized as a US citizen despite having been born on a tribal reservation.

Comments? Richwales (talk) 06:35, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

I think that this page should focus on the term itself, and not get mired up in an attempt to duplicate the material from the Birthright citizenship in the United States of America article, or any other issue related article. A breif quote of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, along with a breif mention of Wong Kim Ark, along with a link to the Birthright citizenship in the United States of America article for more information should more than suffice suffice. Certainly, Elk does not seem worth mentioning here, and fringe viewpoints would be more properly placed in the Birthright citizenship article, where they can be placed in their proper perspective. This article needs to stay foccused on the term itself, with a full discussion of the citizenship issues laid out in articles expressly written for that purpose, and linked to from here. Note that the Wetback (slur) article simply links to the Illegal immigration and Operation Wetback articles, and does not even attempt to discuss in the article the details involved in these controversial issues where that term has been often used. I think that we can go a little further here if we so desire (as appears to be the case) since this is a somewhat longer article, but not too much further.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 16:26, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Considering that the term Anchor Baby revolves around the assumed citizenship of the child and its ability to sponsor the immigration of its relatives, a brief overview/mention of the only two Supreme Court rulings that pertain to jus soli citizenship (under the 14th Amendment) should be included. Obviously, an extensive review of these rulings would be out-of-place, as Birthright Citizenship has its own page. On this note, it might also be proper to expound/list the conditions under which a child may sponsor family members. For example, I believe that "proof of dependency" and "ability to support" are also required (?, vague recollection from when a naturalized friend was talking to me about bringing over parents). Chain migration does have it's own page, but at the moment this article provides more information(!). But I will agree that the legal hurdles and objections may have little influence on the perceived ability, which probably leads to the use of the term. Magic pumpkin (talk) 06:09, 8 August 2008 (UTC)


I have added a section on usage of the term documented in reliable secondary sources the wider application of the term. The references from Grant Barrett are, I believe, the most authorative sources that we have yet for the usage of the term. --Ramsey2006 (talk) 22:00, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I have also attempted to make the introductory paragraph consistent with this new information on usage.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 22:02, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

First, it's been a while since I've been on this page. I must say that it is considerably better than it was about a year ago, which was absolutely horrible. But a fairly reasonable opening seems to have been recently marred with personal viewpoints, such as "as the child has no say in who their parents are or what their status in the U.S. might be". My personal viewpoints on why the term is sometimes offensive are that it either draws attention to the fact that the parents were in the country illegally, or that the entire purpose of the (grammatical) object's existence was to bring US citizenship to its parents. Obviously, my viewpoints have no place in the opening. I do feel that if reasoning for why the term is offensive can be found in print, then it should be stated and cited properly. Magic pumpkin (talk) 07:29, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I have placed a [citation needed] tag on the phrase "as the child has no say in who their parents are or what their status in the U.S. might be". I do not recall right off hand this being given as a reason for anybody calling the term "pejorative" or "derogatory" in any of the sources. If, upon further inspection, it turns out that this is not given as a reason in any of the sources, then I will support it removal as OR. If it has a source, it should be cited properly.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 04:17, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I must also object that the term be unequivocally labeled as offensive or pejorative. While some persons may take offense at its use, it has also been used commonly (and correctly) in print, on the floor of the House and Senate, and during testimony before congressional committees. I understand that using examples of the term's proper use to weaken the position that it is always offensive could be considered as original research; however, it is my experience that one can readily find examples where someone has labeled a term as offensive, but rarely the converse. For example, I could easily state that black is a derogatory term for an African American, and provide about ten Google'd references in print. At the same time I could provide hundreds of instances of the word black being used to refer to an African American, with no indication of malice, but no (or very few) articles supporting it as being 'OK'. Obviously, there is ample evidence that some people have stated that they find the term offensive, but there is also evidence that it is used without any malice. It is clearly not always pejorative or offensive. Maybe if I publish a law review article about chain migration, I can use the term Anchor Baby, and state that it is sometimes offensive, sometimes colloquial. Then I can cite my own article to support my own views! Of course, I jest, maybe. Magic pumpkin (talk) 07:29, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Reliable secondary sources say that the term is derogatory. So far, dispite great efforts, we have been unable to find reliable sources that state that the term is not derogatory, or that it has non-derogatory usages. As stated in our previous consensus above and in the archives, it is not our job to comment on what reliable secondary sources don't say. As for your example, I strongly suspect that there exist reliable secondary sources that say that the term "Black" has non-derogatory uses. I strongly suspect that there are multiple reliable secondary sources that discuss the differences between "African American" and "Black", and which discuss the pros and cons of the various uses of each term. For example, the term "Black" would include quite alot of people around the world who are not US citizens and who would not be covered by the term "African American", and I cannot even concieve of the possibility that this fact has been overlooked and not commented on by reliable secondary sources. Even in the most extreme cases, such as the N-word, I strongly suspect that there exist reliable secondary sources that will explicitely document non-pejorative usages of the term, whatever you or I may think of the N-word. Again, when similar reliable secondary sources document significant non-pejorative uses of the term "anchor baby", those reliable secondary sources can be included with attribution to support the statement to that effect. Until this happens, we need to remember that our job here is to report on what reliable secondary sources actually say, not to report on what they don't say or to speculate about why they don't say it.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 04:42, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
The statement that the term "is offensive" itself constitutes a point-of-view and original research, apparently arrived at by finding only two examples where people published their opinions that it is such. If you would bother to read the mentioned Chicago Tribune blog, you will actually find an argument as to whether or not the term is offensive (one in which I participated, so I guess I sort of didn't jest). Point of fact, whether a word is offensive or not is always a matter of opinion. To unequivocally label a word as offensive is therefore always the editor's point-of-view, regardless of how many opinions, opinions of opinions, or preponderances of opinions they might find in print. Magic pumpkin (talk) 07:29, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Are you referring to "my" three sentences in the Controverseys section? If so, please take a look at my rather extended justification for their inclusion in the sections above labeled as "Text of Ramsey2006's edits" and "Discussion of Ramsey2006's edits". The point of these sentences is not to document that the term is pejorative, but rather to describe two controversies that arose reguarding the use of the term in newspapers. Although the columns cited are opinion columns, the statements being referenced in the columns are factual statements about the resulting controversies, and necessary background. Please let me know if you need further clarification about this section. --Ramsey2006 (talk) 05:03, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I very much concur with this commenter ("Magic pumpkin"), and with his comment above as well. The way this article is (re-)written is clearly in violation of NPOV. The most widely-accepted usage of this term is for the situation arising when a child is born to illegal aliens. This term has been in public usage for at least ten years (possibly longer), and has frequently not been used as a pejorative.
If this article is going to mention the "wider application" of this term, then it must also mention the traditional and more-common usage... Totally removing that from the article, and replacing it with the other (less-frequent) usage, is a clear NPOV violation.
Similarly: If this article is going to mention the derogatory uses of this term, it should also mention that the term has long been used, non-offensively. In fact, in the vast majority of the cases in which this term has been used, controversy has not resulted. This Seattle Times column by prominent left-wing journalist and PBS host Bonnie Erbe is a good example:

It's a new term to me: Anchor Babies. Having grown up in the news biz, I'm familiar with Anchormen and Anchorwomen, but not Anchor Babies.

The moniker refers to the children of pregnant illegal immigrants who enter the United States at some point before their due date. Since their children are delivered on U.S. soil, the children immediately become U.S. citizens and "anchor" the mother (and later, the rest of her family) as future legal U.S. citizens as well.

(Since this article dwells upon the term itself, it is notable enough to warrant inclusion as a reference, in this encyclopedia entry.)
NBC News has also used the term, in a similar way: "Anchor babies tie illegal immigrants to US"

"Anchor babies" are children born in the United States to parents who are illegal immigrants.

These are two of many, many examples. As one can clearly see (and a Lexis-Nexis search of print and broadcast media will confirm this), the most-common usage of this term is for the children of illegal aliens - because they supposedly "anchor" the parents to the U.S., despite them being here illegally.
If the "wider usage" of this term is going to be mentioned in this article, then that is fine. However, completely omitting the more-common and traditional usage makes this encyclopedia entry biased, and leaves out the key element of the story.
The same is true, when this article mentions only "derogatory" usage, but fails to mention that the term is also often used non-pejoratively, and that its usage does not typically general controversy. The "dehumanizing" Chicago Tribune assertion is actually Eric Zorn reflecting upon the perspective of one activist (Doug Rivlin), who himself states that he does not consider the term offensive, but some people use it, in an offensive way.
The bottom line is that, in order to achieve NPOV, we need to include both definitions, and to include both usages.
One other thing: The "jackpot baby" label, in the article title, needs to be removed, or at least amended with a clarification. That is a much less-common term, and is used with a different connotation than "anchor baby" - it should be dealt with separately, and should not be listed in the immediate title opening, as being synonymous with "anchor baby". Pacificus (talk) 07:17, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I just took a look at the source (Double-Tongued dictionary) and I'm concerned about the accuracy of the statement that it applies to all children of immigrants, irrespective of immigration status of the parents. Barrett commits a logical fallacy -- because people who use this term tend to be against all immigration, he reasons, therefore this term must be applied against all immigrants. This logic is flawed on its face; the child of a permanent resident or an immigrant citizen cannot have "anchor" value, and, indeed, the usage Barrett cites (a usenet article linked here) does not bear out his argument. The commenter is indeed against all immigrants, but he merely lists having an anchor child as one means by which to obtain permanent residence. With that in mind, I'm going ahead and editing the definitions to be consistent with the logic of the term. RayAYang (talk) 08:28, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
On second thought, it's a sufficiently large edit that I'll wait a day or two for replies -- likely to be controversial. RayAYang (talk) 08:37, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Although I am a mathematical logician by profession, I am reluctant to second guess the statements and judgements of a professional lexicographer and replace them with my own WP:OR based judgements. Is this what you are asking us to do here? That task seems somehow a bit out of place on a wikipedia talk page.--Ramsey2006 (talk)
The term "immigrants" in the cited source has been interpreted as "all immigrants" in the wikipedia article. This is clearly not supportable. It's our job to find and fix such things. So the logic described above may not be the right reason, but I agree this statement supposedly supported by this source is not right. Dicklyon (talk) 15:36, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
The term "immigrants" in Grant Barrett's double tounged dictionary has been interpreted to mean "all immigrants" because it is absolutely 100% crystal clear that Grant Barrett intended it to be interpreted as such.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 15:52, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Not at all. To me, he means immigrants that don't otherwise have a good way to legal status, when he says: "a child born of an immigrant in the United States, said to be a device by which a family can find legal foothold in the US, since those children are automatically allowed to choose American citizenship. Also anchor child, a very young immigrant who will later sponsor citizenship for family members who are still abroad." The text suggests that the term is limited to those for whom this explanation is applicable. If you choose to interpret that as "all immigrants" you can, but wikipedia should not. Dicklyon (talk) 17:01, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't suggest that to me at all, especially in light of the fact that Barrett himself went out of his way personally to correct a misconception of a reader in the comments:

Reader comments:

Well in reality:

Anchor baby:
n. a child born of an illegal alien in the United States, said to be a device by which a foreign family can find legal foothold in the US, since those children are automatically allowed to choose(no, it is automatic; they do not choose) American citizenship. This baby citizen, will later have the ability to sponsor citizenship for family members who are still living abroad.
by Campbell 09 Nov 07, 0533 GMT

No, you’re wrong, Campbell. As one can plainly see in the citations above, such as in the third one, it is used for *any* immigrant. Those who use this term tend to be opposed to *all* immigration and immigrants, not illegal immigration, especially those who use their immigration stance as a mask for racism and xenophobia.
by Grant Barrett 09 Nov 07, 0123 GMT

Furthermore, there is no chance that this is a reader mascarading as Barrett, since Barrett maintains editorial oversight over which reader comments are posted: "Leave a comment (must be approved by the moderator before it will appear)".--Ramsey2006 (talk) 17:42, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
That's precisely what I'm doing. And it's not at all out of place. One of our duties is to evaluate the accuracy of sources for statements that go into an encyclopedia. For this usage of "anchor baby," we have nothing more than the word of a single lexicographer (in a self-published comment); upon more serious examination, it turns out that his word is not supported by the very usages he cites. Against this exceptional (and unique) viewpoint, we have the overwhelming weight of usage as it is used in, ironically, every single source on the Double-Tongued Dictionary entry for "anchor baby." Is it going to be necessary to take this to a formal dispute resolution? RayAYang (talk) 18:59, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I for one am not interested in playing your game of amature lexicographer. In your attempt to pick nits in Barrett's statements in search of "logical fallacies", you are putting words in his mouth. Words like "because" and "therefore", which tend to lead would-be amature logicians to construct strawman statements with implication arrows in them just to be able to knock them down, from the statements of folks in other professions. What's next? Venn diagrams? When this sort of thing starts happening, I have a tendency to tune out, figuring that some folks have just seen too many Star Trek episodes. Live long and prosper, Mr Spock...--Ramsey2006 (talk) 21:44, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. I had feared you were going to be intrasigient about this. RayAYang (talk) 22:25, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

While I'm sure my statement here alone can't be used to support a side as it would constitute "original research", it has been my experience that the term "anchor baby" is most used by people who are against *illegal* immigration, but not necessarily against other types of immigration. After all, legal residents don't need an "anchor baby," they have other paths to citizenship or, at a minimum, already have residency, which is what the anchor baby is supposed to provide for illegal immigrants, a means to keep them from being deported. Grant Barrett may be a professional lexicographer, but that does not mean he does not have an agenda of his own; every one of his arguments I've read on this topic read like the kind of person who wants to paint someone who is opposed to illegal immigration as simply being racist and twist them as if they are actually opposed to all immigration. Granted, there may very well be some people who are the latter and use the term more broadly, but their (and Barrett's) misuse of the term does not change it's truer, more narrow meaning. Perhaps Wikipedia should look at re-structuring this article as defining the term more narrowly, but reflecting that some use the term more broadly to reflect all immigrants. Currently it reads just the opposite, that somehow the term is properly defined as referring to all immigrants, but there are a rare few who prefer to use it with the more narrow definition. Nolefan32 (talk) 21:48, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Anchor baby is not an ethnic slur

It can be simultaneously applied to lower-class Mexicans and upper class Koreans alike, because it describes a particular type of behavior. In an injurious, derogative way, to be sure, but that's like saying "savages" or "heathens" or "barbarians" are ethnic slurs, which they simply are not. RayAYang (talk) 05:19, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

If you examine the new references, you will see that reliable secondary sources are beginning to note the racial/ethnic uses and connotations of the term "anchor baby". These usages of the term have always been quite aparrent from OR with primary unreliable sources, as any web search will turn them up by the hundreds. However, now that we have secondary sources that report these usage that we have known about all along, we can legitimately make note of these usages of the term in the article. Once reliable secondary sources begin to note such uses, we no longer have to stick our heads in the sand as wikipedia editors and pretend that we can't see what has been in front of our faces all along. This is no different than the epithet wetback, which some people will still claim simply makes note of the condition of peoples' backs after crossing the Rio Grand, and will still claim has no racial/ethnic component. Of course, that epithet has been around alot longer, so that there are plenty of reliable secondary sources that tell us otherwise. Well, anchor baby as an epithet is aparrently coming of age, and reliable secondary sources for its uses are popping up now. We don't have to pretend any longer.
Again, I want to emphasize that these reliable secondary sources aren't telling us anything that we didn't already know all along. After all, we can all surf the web and see who uses these terms and how they are applied in practice and to what purposes they are put. It is just that our knowledge was OR based upon examining the thousands upon thousands of uses of the term in primary sources that would never qualify as reliable sources for anything under any stretch of the imagination, and therefor forbidden to mention in the article until these latest reliable secondary sources were found. This is going to happen more and more as time goes on, and reliable sources continue to comment of the obvious usages that we have all been able to see right before our eyes all along, but whose mention was forbidden under the wikipedia rules. Our hands are no longer tied. We can now mention, under wikipedia rules, the obvious racial/ethnic usages and connotations of this term just as we can with the term "wetback".--Ramsey2006 (talk) 05:47, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I have examined the references (I assume the Rubens Navarette and La Raza links are the ones in questino) and I find them unconvincing. First of all, as a general principle, the plural of anecdote is not data. Mr. Navarette does not suggest that the term has migrated outside its original meaning, only that in a frenzy of hatred it was erroneously applied to him. The assertion that this is now an accepted and general use of the term is, IMO, yours alone. There is room for debate about this, so I've left it in for now pending further discussion. The second reference was clearcut -- the slur used against the pregnant lady was "anchor baby on the way" -- so it was clearly in reference to her child, and not to the lady. I've gone ahead and cut out that section. RayAYang (talk) 06:30, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Clarified and reinserted.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 07:43, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I concur that the statement "applied to Mexican Americans and other Latinos in general" is invalid and unsupported. Instead of providing support for the statement, Navarette's article apparently contradicts it, indicating that the term was used incorrectly. Navarette's article also contradicts the statement that the term is used "regardless of the immigration status of the parents." The aside, "in reference to the child", should not be in quotes, leaving the erroneous, "usage of the term is towards pregnant Latinas", as the main phrase. Not only do opinion pieces constitute extremely weak evidence, but these citations actually contradict the generalized statement of 'ethnic slur', which they were cited to support! It is apparent that this edit not only constitutes original research, but is in fact wrong. The plural of anecdote is opinion, and presenting opinion as data is assumption, and assumption makes an -deleted-. It is apparent that another editing war is on the horizon due to another editor hating the term, taking offense to its existence, and inserting their own opinion as fact. Magic pumpkin (talk) 08:12, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I will address the Navarette column edits in a separate section below, hopefully this weekend. I have a feeling that it will need its own section. As for the pregnant Latina vs her unborn child, is this really a serious objection? I have attempted to clarify it as best that I know how to meet RayAYang's objection on this point. Can the unborn child actually hear the epithet said in the proximity of the mother? And if so, does it seem likely that he or she can comprehend it? I really don't get the objection at this point, after my edit clarifying that it was in reference to the unborn child. (Something that I had just assumed would be taken for granted and could be safely ommitted in the original version of my edit. I'm not looking to see how long that we can make this article, as you can see from my discussion above reguarding the Controverseys section.)--Ramsey2006 (talk) 06:10, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
The pregnant Latina point is one that is absolutely clear-cut. The slur was directed at the unborn child, not the mother herself. An insult need not be spoken to the person insulted. If somebody tells my mother that she's the mother of a moron, you may assume that it is my (or my sib's) intelligence that is being insulted. Accordingly, I have removed that reference. I will await developments on the Navarette column, but as it is, I don't think that stands up either. RayAYang (talk) 20:02, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Accordingly, since the category in question is supported by the new reliable secondary sources, I am going to put the category in question back.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 05:49, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
It's a grotesque mangling of the language to call something an "ethnic slur" which is a) applied to people of multiple ethnicities, b) also clearly not applicable to people of those same ethnicities in different situations. A correlation with the use of the epithet and an ethnicity does not an ethnic slur make -- an ethnic slur must be a slur upon an ethnic group, not upon a presumed behavior, unless that behavior is indistinguishable from the ethnic group. RayAYang (talk) 06:19, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Presumed behavior based upon racial/ethnic stereotypes and animosity. Just like Wetback.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 07:40, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Wetback has the quality of at least being restricted in usage to one ethnic group, which is rather a requirement for an ethnic slur. Although I wonder if the case there might be overstated as well. Put bluntly: barbarian, savage, heathen, terrorist, etc., are not ethnic slurs, for all that they have in the past been associated by negative stereotype with particular ethnic groups. I wonder if you're getting anything I'm saying. Perhaps it's best if we left it for the morning and some fresh eyes to look over. RayAYang (talk) 07:50, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to agree with RayAYang's take on this, for the reason's he's already given: a term that describesw behavior regardless of ethnicity cannot really be said to be an ethnic slur. J. Langton (talk) 14:46, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
The term may not be referring to one specific ethnic group, but I think it still carries the connotation of someone of a noticeably "different" group. (Can anyone find an instance of a US-born child of illegal immigrants from the UK or Scandinavia being called an "anchor baby"?) A term can still be primarily used as a bigoted slur even if it doesn't exclusively apply to one and only one ethnicity. Maybe "anchor baby" is not specifically an "ethnic" slur, but it's still an intentionally (or heedlessly) derogatory term. Richwales (talk) 16:22, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
(Can anyone find an instance of a US-born child of illegal immigrants from the UK or Scandinavia being called an "anchor baby"?) I think that to really be anologous to the most generalized usage of the term that has been recorded against Mexican Americans (such as Navarrett) and other Latinos (the pregnant Latina refered to in a deleted portion of the article), for example, there would have to be instances of it being applied to white US born Citizens whose parents are also both US born Citizens and all of whose grandparents are also US Citizens. Besides these two instances referenced by reliable secondary sources, there are plenty of unreliable primary sources that present the use of the term towards entire groups of Mexican Americans whose citizenship/immigration status (nor that of the parents and grandparents) cannot possibly be known to the user of the epithet. Note, as just one small example, the title of this video at YouTube: [9] There is no reason for us here at Wikipedia to pretend that the term is never used in this way, reguardless of the better documented primary meaning, especially when we have at least two reliable sources that report on two specific examples of such generalized racial/ethnic based usage. --Ramsey2006 (talk) 16:46, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
It's applied to Asians, ergo, it is applied to more than one ethnic group. The use of it in a derogatory fashion towards one ethnic group does not make it an ethnic slur, i.e. a slur meant to be unique to that group. Otherwise, "barbarian" would be an ethnic slur, but nobody thinks of it that way. I distinguish this from "wetback," which nobody uses to refer to anybody besides Mexicans in the United States. Do I need to draw a Venn diagram? RayAYang (talk) 01:40, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
This isn't ZFC. --Ramsey2006 (talk) 01:46, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I suppose "Beaner" could apply to anyone who eats beans, but in practice it is only used for one nationality/ethnicity. Likewise with "Curry-muncher", "Cheese-eating surrender monkey", "Camel Jockey ", and other slurs that are theoretically based on behavior. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 16:51, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
An analogous arguement for the epithet Wetback (slur) is often given. The arguement that the epithet refers to behavior (swimming across the Rio Grand and thereby getting ones back wet) and is not a racial/ethnic reference is commonly made. Here are a couple of recient examples of just this arguement being made. The first involves a bar in oakland that instituted and advertized a drink special called "Wetback Wednesdays".

In a nutshell, the owners wanted to have a themed weekday to bring in more patrons, so they created Wetback Wednesdays, which offered specials on Coronas and tacos. Students from the three Oakland-based universities boycotted the bar and were covered in local news and even in a short snippet on CNN. In reaction, Garage Door management made statements such as, "It's an ad meant to be eye-cathing, and it obviously is," and, "The term refers to illegal immigrants, not Mexicans in general. It's not a racist term, it's more pro-American than anything." Irritated (and probably drunk) students eventually stole the "Wetback Wednesday" signs, and, miraculously, the replacement signs had a new name: "Mexican American Wednesdays."[10]

The second involved an agenda item ("Dempsey's proposed old Harmony Hills tract and possible holding pen for wetbacks") that made use of the epithet:[11]

The councilman is Charles Laws, who's also a general manager of a water supply company in the Austin area. Last week, Laws posted an agenda item for a meeting of his firm's board of directors that probably was the most read agenda item in the history of water supply corporations. His company is weighing a request to provide water to a proposed immigrant detention facility. In the agenda, however, Laws dubbed the facility a "holding pen for wetbacks."

Some have called for Laws' resignation. On Saturday, the Austin-American Statesman said that Laws, a member of the Mustang Ridge City Council, defended his use of "wetback." According to their story:

Laws said "wetback" is widely acknowledged to mean immigrants who swim the Rio Grande and enter the United States illegally, not American citizens. Laws said the term is not racial, an assertion that others dispute. He said he wishes he had not used the word in an agenda item for the Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply Corp.'s board of directors but will not resign over it.[12]

And, of course, the arguement is regularly made on internet forums and bulliten boards, as well as readers comments news stories:

Wet back is not a racial slur - it refers to an illegal alien breaking the law by illegally sneaking into the United States of America by crossing the Rio Grande river.

This criminal could be Latino, Black, White, Asian, Arab, Serb, etc., etc. How anyone in an enlightened college trained area could refer to this term as racist only shows their ignorance of the laws of the United States.


--Ramsey2006 (talk) 18:52, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Ruben Navarrette called an anchor baby

Navarette wrote an opinion column titled "Hate in the Immigration Debate"[14]. His basic thesis is pretty well summed up in the first two paragraphs:

The winners write the history. And now that border restrictionists have won the battle to scuttle immigration reform, the history that many are desperate to write is that the debate was colorblind.

Really. The restrictionists and those pundits who have taken up their cause claim that race and ethnicity aren't even part of the discussion and that those who oppose giving illegal immigrants a shot at legal status would feel the same way if the immigrants were coming from Canada instead of Mexico. They say their concerns are limited to border security and the rule of law, and have nothing to do with nativism or xenophobia. And they reject any suggestion that the debate was hostile to Hispanics.

My interest in this column is not so much in Navarette's opinion, as expressed above, but rather with a specific incident involving the use of the epithet anchor baby directed towards him personally that he reports on in this column, as evidence of the racial tone (according to Navarette) in which the immigration debate has taken.

And, as I travel the country speaking to Hispanic groups, one thing I hear is that “anti-immigrant” rapidly morphed into “anti-Hispanic” and specifically “anti-Mexican.”

I get evidence of that every day in my e-mail. Just last week, after I defended the prosecution of two Border Patrol agents, a reader called me a “dirty Latino” who needs to get “back to Mexico.” Another writer called me an “anchor baby” – the term used by nativists to describe the children of illegal immigrants born in the United States.

Never mind that I was born in the United States and my parents were born in the United States. What I see here is racism.

Now, whether or not one agrees with Navarette's opinion here is immaterial. In fact, Navarette's opinion here is immaterial, except insofar as it might help in interpreting his reporting of the fact (not opinion) of Navarette having been called an anchor baby. I believe that Navarette is a reliable source in reporting this fact, dispite his being an opinion columnist. True, this is an opinion column, but the fact being referenced is not a statement of his opinion. It is a straightforward reporting of a simple fact. Navarette was called an anchor baby dispite he and his parents being US citizens, all born in the US, and the fact that all 4 of his grandparents are US Citizens. What we have here is a Mexican American being called an anchor baby, with no possible reason for the writer to believe that he might satisfy any of the criteria set out by what is normally thought of as the standard definition of the term. Indeed, it is clear that the email writer does not even know Navarette personally, which would virtually preclude any possiblity that he is using the epithet under the more "standard" definition.

This general use of the epithet anchor baby against Mexican Americans can be easily observed on multiple websites and internet forums, as well as in reader comments to news articles posted online by readers. Navarette's report of this one occurence is important for us here because it provides a reliable secondary source to the fact that the word has been used in this manner. I should note that I have taken some trouble to soften the original statements from saying that "The term is also applied to" to "The term is also sometimes applied to" to "The term has also been applied to", in successive weakenings of the statement in the interest of compromise. But I don't think that we can totally ignore this usage, reguardless as to whether it fits the "standard" definition. Such racially/ethnicly based usage of the epithet is a real word phenomina, and the application of the term to Navarette as reported in his column (quite apart from any opinions that he expresses in that same column) is an example of this very phenomina of usage.

--Ramsey2006 (talk) 23:34, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

The introduction section is a disaster

Please keep our arguments about usage in the talk page, not in the articlespace itself. The introduction should be a short introduction to the term and its history, not an argument for a particular position, as it is currently. RayAYang (talk) 01:42, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree that this article is not neutral. The term is not inherently derogatory. It can and has been used as an epithet, but it is a neutral term in itself. Perhaps a section covering the derogatory aspect of the term is indicated, but it should not be a part of the basic definition. I use the term "anchor baby" in discussions of birthright with no derogatory intent. It simply means "a child born of non-citizens that automatically becomes a citizen and impart enhanced rights to the parents". That is a mouthful that requires a shorter term for usage in a discussion. This is a neutral definition of the term. I know people that use the terms 'Democrat' and 'Republican' as derogatory terms, but that does not mean that the definition of those terms should include a statement that they ARE derogatory terms.

Democrat Democrat is a derogatory term that refers to a member of a political party named the Democratic Party?

(I would be interested in the section that discusses the term "Democrat as a slur"... )

To accuracy; I also find fault with accuracy in using "immigrant" instead of "illegal immigrant" in the basic definition (introduction?). I use and understand the term "immigrant" to indicate a legal immigrant. A legal immigrant parent does not need the enhancement that a child born here brings when the baby is automatically given citizenship. Only an illegal immigrant benefits from the "anchor" aspect of the child.

Mfreemo (talk) 22:44, 10 September 2008 (UTC)Mfreemo 2:50 PM 9/10/2008

We can any summarize reliable sources. We have reliable sources that say it is a derogatory term. As for the matter of legal immigrants, there are many situations that allow non-citizens to be in the U.S. legally, including a variety of temporary visas. There is even the related concept of birth tourism.
Again, it's not for us to decide what these terms mean- we're just here to summarize sources. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:56, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Pregnant Latinas and their anchor fetuses

On January 31, 2008, the nations largest Hispanic civil rights group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), announced the launching of a campaign to end hate speech in the immigration debate, in an attempt to deal with the surge in hate speech and violence surrounding that debate.

Stating that “words have consequences,” Murguía pointed to an FBI report which shows a 23% rise in violence against Latinos. “To the Latino community,” said Murguía, “the surge in hate speech and violence is appalling. But, it should be appalling to everyone.”[15]

As part of that campaign, NCLR teamed up with other organizations[16] to create an anti-hate website entitled “We can stop the hate ”. On this website is a page called "Flash points"[17] that catalouges specific incidents, with dates and locations on the map. Amoung the incidents listed is the following one, which involved the use of the epithet towards a pregnant Latina:

July 7th, 2007 – Fallbrook, CA: As a funeral service gets underway at the nearby Church, a Minuteman yells "pick your slaves" to prospective day laborer employers and attempts to provoke an activist. A Minutewoman can be heard saying "anchor baby on the way" to a Latina activist who is pregnant.[18]

This specific incident can also be seen here in this video[19], provided by the Border Project of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation[20]

I don't think that we can totally ignore this usage, reguardless as to whether it fits the "standard" definition. Such racially/ethnicly based usage of the epithet is a real word phenomina, and the application of the term to a pregnant Latina on the street who is a perfect stranger and whose personal citizenship and/or immigration status the Minutewoman using the epithet is not even in any concievable position to know is an example of this very phenomina of usage.

--Ramsey2006 (talk) 14:42, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

"Often used" is an inference

The statement that something is "often used" some way is a red flag for WP:OR. It needs at least one citation to show that the conclusion was made by someone reliable. Citing some usages is not an alternative. Dicklyon (talk) 16:31, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Please do not tag substantiave edits with a (m). That notation is reserved for minor edits that are unlikely to be controversial, and can be confusing for other editors when used otherwise.--Ramsey2006 (talk)
Sorry, I don't know how I did that, but it was not intentional. It seems to be a side effect of twinkle rollback; anyone know how to tell it not to do that? Dicklyon (talk) 16:45, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
No problem. I thought that it was intentional.--Ramsey2006 (talk) 16:50, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I found the twinkle docs and changed my parameters; seems like a lame default. Dicklyon (talk) 17:02, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Will this do?[21]

Shamefully, the anti-illegal alien cohort also applies the term to any Mexican-American regardless of the legality of one or both parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.

Example: Janet Osborn's letter (Aug. 23). She labels all with Spanish surnames "anchor babies." "(Raoul) doesn't say how many (Latinos in prison who are not illegals) are anchor babies, grown up and taught to break our laws by their illegal parents ... after all, they broke our law coming here illegally and snub their noses at it."

Talk about a broad brush.


The media should voluntarily ban today's hate speech ("anchor babies") against Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and anyone with a Spanish surname, the fastest growing community in North County, just as it bans the N-word.

--Ramsey2006 (talk) 16:50, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Seems marginal; it's an opinion piece (commentary), and doesn't use words like "racially charged" anyway. If you want to cite is as an opinion that the term is often misapplied to Latinos as a group, that would be OK, but to use it to support a conclusion stated as fact in the lead, it falls short, I think. Dicklyon (talk) 16:59, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I inserted the term often used to try to highlight the fact that there is contention as to whether or not the term is derogatory - that conclusion is not universally accepted. Sorry about the misplaced notability tag. I wanted to question the notability of one particular section; the coverage of one supposed minuteman supposedly yelling something - I don't think that is notable. - Schrandit (talk) 18:22, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

So far every claim that those who use it are racist is not reliably sourced. I'm guessing that we won't find any reliable source regarding the motives of those who use it - calling a person bigoted is a matter of opinion, so most journalists and experts are out of their jurisdiction in making such a claim. Maybe a cognitive psychologist? It's possible that we could find a reliable source that the term itself is racist - I think it is but I have not found a good source for that. But just because a term is racially derogatory does not mean that every person who uses it, and every use, is racially derogatory. People use words in many different ways on many occasions. What we do have good sources for is that it's derogatory and pejorative, and that it is applied to all children of illegal immigrants whether or not they are intended, or actually serve, as facilitators for their parents' immigration. Also that it's a new neologism. It's been kicking around in some from since 1997 or so, and gained wider exposure in 2006. Still slang, not a standard term. Wikidemo (talk) 20:54, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikidemo, it seems to me that if it's been kicking around for 11 years, it's no longer a neologism. It may still be slang, but it's hardly new. After all, I remind you that terms like "to google" have been around for approximately the same amount of time. Or to take a more humorous take, if it's older than Wikipedia, Wikipedia has no business calling it young ;-) RayAYang (talk) 06:50, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
As words go, 11 years is pretty young. But it's a phrase not a word, so not really a neologism. Dicklyon (talk) 07:09, 18 August 2008 (UTC)