Eugene Weekly : ¡Ask A Mexican! : 9.25.08


Dear Mexican: What is an anchor baby? I am a 45-year-old male born in the U.S. My mother was born in ex-Yugoslavia (now Serbia), and my father was also born in ex-Yugoslavia (now Croatia). My father arrived to this country via a green card about four years before I was born, and my mother arrived 16 months before I was born after being petitioned to enter the U.S. by my father. I was the very first person in my entire family on both my mother’s and father’s side to be born in the U.S. When I was born, my father told my mother that now they will never be deported because they have an American-born son. Many years later, both of my parents became citizens. Today, I wonder: WAS I an anchor baby? I speak good English, Spanish and some limited Serbian. I don’t look Hispanic, but what do I tell my Hispanic friends? 

— Spanish-Speaking Serbian-American Living in Houston

Dear Yugo: A so-called anchor baby is an American citizen — says so in the U.S. Constitution. In popular parlance, it’s a term used by Know Nothings to deride the children of immigrants whom relatives can use to sponsor visas and other government goodies. Though the Know Nothings would love to have you believe only illegal Mexicans are capable of anchor babies, cases like yours have been occurring since the days of Virginia Dare. Not only that, but the etymological roots of “anchor baby” suggests legal or illegal status doesn’t matter; a 1987 Los Angeles Times Magazine (RIP) article examining the burden of young Vietnamese refugees trying to earn enough money to get their family out of refugee camps referred to them as “anchor children.” 

“Anchor baby,” on the other mano, is a slur of a recent provenance — the earliest mainstream media reference the Mexican found was a January 7, 1997 Providence Journal-Bulletin story that quoted Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) president Dan Stein as saying public benefits “encourages immigrant families to conceive ‘anchor babies’ so they can remain in this country and collect benefits.” Stein — whose organization is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — can’t claim the creator’s mantle for the term, however: The excellent etymology website lists a 1996 Usenet posting as the term’s earliest recorded date, and I’m sure dinosaurs like the California Coalition for Immigration Reform and other pioneer anti-immigrant pendejos bandied it around before. As to how all this relates to you: You weren’t an anchor baby. Your parents were already here legally, and your citizenship can’t stop your parents from a trip with la migra. Hope this clears up things, and make sure to boil the Houston water before you drink it!

I have read your book and religiously followed your stuff online. But I still am not informed enough about the sex lives of Mexican men. I fell in love with a man in Mexico, and I’m trying to find him again but I have a few questions. First of all, what is the average penis size of a Mexican man? I know that women are supposed to remain virgins until marriage — is this the same with men? Do they sleep around a lot if they don’t have to be virgins? Also, are Mexican men good in bed? 

— The Suzanne that Fell Hard for Reno

Dear Gabacha: Penis-size surveys are like Guatemalans — there are a bunch of them, but few are reputable. Using my own wang and life as an example, I’ll say that the average Mexican man packs John Holmes in his pants, has no expectations of virginity before marriage before him but expects his conquests to have only seen a penis in a World Book Encyclopedia entry, beds 10 mujeres a night and is such an extraordinary lover that he could make a chick orgasm by uncapping his bottle of Tapatío.


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