The left-leaning magazine, Mother Jones, had questioned the story the Utah Republican congressional candidate likes to often tell about her Haitian immigrant parents while out on the stump.
Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah who is running for the state’s 4th Congressional seat, often highlights her parents’ tale of legally coming to America with just $10 in their pockets and making it without any help from the government.
In 2011, Love described her birth in the U.S. as “our family’s ticket to America” because it allowed her parents to beat a deadline in the law and gain “citizenship.” Her story suggested that she was what members of her party derisively call an “anchor baby.”
U.S. policy since 1924 has been to bar minor children from petitioning for their parents’ permanent residence, but a provision in an obscure law passed in 1976 allowed residents of the Western Hemisphere to use a child born in the U.S. to apply for resident visas, according to Forbes Magazine.
The Forbes story also suggests that, despite her protestations, Love’s parents were probably in the country illegally for a while after overstaying their visas.
Love’s parents were likely in the country out of legal status. Following their daughter’s birth on Dec. 6, 1975, a provision of U.S. immigration law that would expire in a year may have helped them stay legally.
Since Mother Jones first raised these issues, Republicans have rallied to Love’s side, taking issue with our use of the term “anchor baby” and claiming that her family’s immigration story is irrelevant to her campaign.
Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright told the Salt Lake Tribune that questions about Love’s immigration history should be off limits.
Never mind that it’s Love herself who made her family’s immigration history a central part of her campaign, even invoking it during her primetime address at the Republican Convention. She uses stories about her immigrant parents to justify her proposals to eliminate student loans, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the food stamp program. Because after all, if her parents came here legally and never had to “turn to Washington” for help, why can’t the rest of the country get it together?
Love has said that if elected to Congress, she would “join the Congressional Black Caucus and try to take that thing apart from the inside out.”
“They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t,” she jeeringly said of the CBC. “They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going to lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility.”