The Daily Beast Has No Earthly Idea What "Anchor Babies" Are

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 20 2011 11:24 AM

The Daily Beast Has No Earthly Idea What "Anchor Babies" Are

Great catch by Mickey Kaus: This listicle from The Daily Beast, ostensibly about famous "anchor babies," gives us photos of 10 celebrities who were not anchor babies. The 14th Amendment debate over "anchoring" is this: "If kids are born to illegal immigrant parents on American soil, should they be American citizens?" Absolutely no one on this list was born to illegal immigrants. Three of the ten people -- Norah Jones, Walt Disney, and Olympia Snowe -- had only one immigrant parent!

Kaus dignoses a classic liberal mistake: "Assuming those Republicans out there in the rest of America — the ones who rail against anchor babies, etc. — are so crazy and dumb we can mock them without even thinking." But even then, what's the point of this listicle? That people whose parents weren't born in America can achieve things, too? Who's saying they can't? Ask 100 Tea Party activists who they want to be the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, and 99 will say Marco Rubio, whose parents escaped Cuba for Florida. (The other guy will say "Allen West.") No, the gripes about the 14th Amendment are pretty easily understood. It's probably a bad idea for the Daily Beast to keep this slideshow up and falsely inform a bunch of non-Kaus readers about Nikki Haley and Olympia Snowe.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.