November 21, 2014


Congresswoman-Elect Mia Love: Personification of GOP Hypocrisy on Immigration (NATHALIE BAPTISTE, NOVEMBER 21, 2014, American Prospect)

Her parents, Marie and Jean Maxime Bourdeau, fled Haiti in the 1970s after Jean Maxime had been threatened by the Tonton Macoutes, the brutal police force of Francois Duvalier, the late dictator. According to Mother Jones, the immigration law in place at the time offered the possibility of her parents gaining citizenship if they had a child born in the United States. The law was set to expire in January 1976. On December 6, 1975, Love was born in a Brooklyn hospital.  

"My parents have always told me I was a miracle and our family's ticket to America," Love told the Deseret News in a 2011 interview.

Mia Love grew up to be a staunch conservative. The congresswoman-elect is not shy about telling people the story of how her immigrant parents pulled themselves up by their bootstraps (a popular talking point among her party) but she fails to mention the part that angers Republicans to their core--the undocumented part.

Although Love claims that her parents came here legally, there are several discrepancies that arise in her story. Her parents entered on tourist visas, which are typically granted for up to six months at the discretion of the immigration officer. This implies that Love's parents overstayed their visas, became undocumented, and when Love was born, they were able to apply for legal status. If that were the case, then Mia Love is what Republicans pejoratively refer to as an "anchor baby."

What Love's parents did to escape Haiti was common in the 1970s and 1980s, and her success can be contributed to her parents immigrating to the United States. One would think that with a story like that, Mia Love would be aggressively campaigning for better immigration laws so that other children of immigrants could be as successful as she.

That second generation is always the most nativist--they got theirs.  
Posted by at November 21, 2014 1:29 PM

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