Was Utah Republican Mia Love an ‘anchor baby’?

Opinion

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Republican congressional nominee Mia Love.

Republican congressional nominee Mia Love.

Utah Congressional candidate Republican Mia Love might have some explaining to do.  The rising star in the GOP, fresh off her prime-time convention speaking spot, could find herself fighting off allegations of hypocrisy surrounding the details of her immigrant upbringing and just how her family achieved a legal citizenship status.

If she wins in November, Love would be the first black female Republican elected to the House of Representatives.  She’s a star within the modern GOP because of her hard right positions on contraception, abortion, and immigration.  Now it’s become clearer that Love’s position on immigration in particular, directly conflicts with her own past.

According to Love, her parents came from Haiti to the United States with only $10 to their names and shortly thereafter Love was born in 1976 in Brooklyn, New York.

Love’s version of her birth and parent’s subsequent immigration status has changed over time.  According to one version of the story, Love’s parents entered the country legally, a young Mia was born and they succeeded in the country with no assistance from the federal government.

Love said in an interview with FoxNewsChris Wallace that, “My parents taught me that we weren’t entitled to anything that we didn’t own, earn, work for, or pay for ourselves. And I’ve taken those principles everywhere I’ve gone. And that’s how I ended up the way I am.”

In another version of Love’s story, she says her parents entered the country legally on a visa and were able to get citizenship after the birth of their daughter.  Hence, Love in many respects could be referred to as the derisive term “anchor baby.”  Love’s birth on American soil could have allowed her parents and siblings to gain legal status according to this version of events.

In January 2011, the Deseret News reported that,  “[t]here was an immigration law in place, however, that would grant the entire family citizenship if Jean Maxine and Mary had a baby in America.  But there was a deadline.  The law was set to expire on Jan. 1, 1976.  On Dec. 6, 1975, with 25 days to spare, Mia was born in a Brooklyn hospital.  In no time, her older brother and sister were sent for in Haiti and the family was re-united.  Says Mia: “My parents have always told me I was a miracle and our family’s ticket to America.”

It’s one thing for Love to acknowledge and be proud of her immigrant heritage and her families hard work to succeed.  It’s hypocrisy for her to claim that her birth helped her family gain legal status, while at the same criticizing this right and being opposed to the birthright citizenship granted by the 14th Amendment for of other immigrant families who have children after coming to this country.

Love is on record supporting the deportation of undocumented immigrant children because she says that by allowing them to stay in the United States, you are allowing them to benefit from the misdeeds of their parents.

Love’s position on birthright citizenship when put up against her own families path to citizenship is striking.  The fact that she is on a national stage and no longer speaks about her own birth allowing her siblings to come from Haiti, as she did in past interviews, is evidence that her current publicly held positions do not square with her personal history.

Mia Love may very well be the next big thing in the Republican party but her background and the questions surrounding how her family was able to use her birth to petition for legal resident status in this country should and will not go away as long as they contradict the policies she supports that impact other immigrant families.

Follow Zerlina Maxwell on Twitter at @zerlinamaxwell