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Hillary Clinton's DREAMer Latino Outreach Director Hits GOP for 'Hateful' Immigration Rhetoric

First Posted: Aug 21, 2015 02:05 PM EDT
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An undocumented immigrant working on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign called out the Republican presidential field for the "hateful rhetoric" used toward the immigrant community.

Although multiple Republican presidential candidates have used the term "anchor baby" -- considered a derogatory term referring to U.S.-born children of immigrants -- Hillary For America Latino Outreach Director Lorella Praeli focused on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and real estate businessman Donald Trump. Praeli, who previously served as the advocacy and political director for immigrant youth group United We Dream, acknowledged that Bush "tried to outdo" Trump and other Republican presidential hopefuls by doubling down on using "anchor baby."

"It's a disgrace to see these candidates attack a group of American citizens who not only have the same rights as everybody else in this country but also represent the very values this country was built on," Praeli said, in a statement Latin Post received.

She added, "If Republicans continue to wonder how to label these children, Hillary has already made it clear to them: They are not 'anchor babies.' They are babies. They are our neighbors. They are our families. They are part of our communities. They are American citizens. Period."

Praeli also provided a Spanish-language statement, which slightly differed from the English version. In the Spanish text, Praeli specifically names Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal among the Republican names using "anchor baby."

Regardless of languages, the issue is important for Praeli. As Latin Post reported, she was born in Peru and came to the U.S. when she was 10 years old. She was an undocumented immigrant until applying for a green card through the DREAM act in 2012.

The Clinton campaign also criticized Bush on Twitter when the former Florida governor defended his use of the term unless someone had better recommendations for him to consider.

"How about 'babies,' 'children,' or 'American citizens,'" tweeted the Clinton campaign.

Bush had used the term during a conservative radio interview for Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" program.

"If there's abuse, if people are bringing -- pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement," Bush said on Wednesday. "That's [the] legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don't have these, you know, 'anchor babies,' as they're described, coming into the country."

Trump later used the term and defended the phrase. He also said people are being politically correct for wanting to use the term "undocumented" instead.

Trump said, "You mean it's not politically correct, and yet everybody uses it? ... I'll use the word 'anchor baby.'"

Must Read: Hillary Clinton Still Supports Deportation of Undocumented Immigrant Children  

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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