Not content to sit back and let Jeb Bush or Donald Trump have all the Asian-bashing fun, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina got in on the racist, xenophobic scapegoating with a rather unoriginal rant against the allegedly rampant problem of Chinese women engaging in so-called "birth tourism."
Carly Fiorina rails against 'industry' of Chinese women having US babies
Our nation faces so many problems. Where do we even begin? When in doubt -- and way behind in the polls -- blame the Chinese. On Thursday, Fiorina reiterated rival Jeb Bush's claims about "an industry that has been set up in L.A. where Chinese women come over on a tourist visa and have a baby."
"We need to stop abuses like this by enforcing the laws we have," she added. "But instead, as unfortunately what happens too often in a political season, everybody tries to distract people from festering problems that have never been solved to talk about something new. Well, let's talk about birthright citizenship. Let's talk about something else. We have to fix these problems. It's ridiculous that women are coming in and doing this. We know it's happening. Let's fix it."
I'm not going to deny that birth tourism is a thing. It's a thing. But is it the thing? In the national debate over immigration, does this even come anywhere close to the top of the list of our nation's priorities? Here are some numbers from AAPI Data to put some of the sensationalist reporting in perspective. I'm willing to bet that further numbers would show that it's wholly unfair to pin this phenomenon on Chinese mothers.
This is a distraction. But it's an election year and "the Chinese" are easy targets. It's part of the playbook. Candidates will readily tap into our country's deepest yellow peril xenophobia and frothing anxiety over China's perceived economic might. And now they want our citizenship toooo?
This isn't Carly Fiorina's first campaign jab at China. Earlier this year, she made the sweeping claim that the Chinese are unimaginative and unable to innovate. "That's why they're stealing our intellectual property."
As I've said, it wouldn't be a proper political campaign without some good ol' fashioned China-bashing.