An Iowa-based Hispanic advocacy group is calling for an apology from a South Dakota state lawmaker for using the term “anchor babies” during a committee discussion of an immigration bill.
Republican state Representative Manny Steele used the term, which refers to children of illegal immigrants who are born in America, during discussions of legislation that would contest the automatic US citizenship awarded to US-born children of illegal immigrants, reports The Associated Press.
The Hispanic Republican group, Somos Republicans, demanded an apology from Steele for using the term.
“This term is deeply offensive and should never be used to describe babies. [Representative] Steele owes all babies and pro life Republicans an apology for his use of defamatory language,” the organization said in a press release. “Steele is being intellectually dishonest to all Americans, and is choosing to use introduce laws that will most likely be challenged in the Courts, while costing tax payers millions of dollars to defend.”
However, Steele refused to apologize and accused the group of misrepresented his legislation.
“As far as I’m concerned, they owe me an apology,” he told the AP.
The group is also asking for Representative James Knox to apologize for using the term.