The CHIRLA Action Fund, the political arm of one of the largest immigrant rights organizations based in California, is calling on all GOP presidential candidates to drop the anti-immigrant discourse from their rhetoric or risk a monumental backlash from immigrant, Latino, and Asian voters.

GOP candidates Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, in a frantic race to outdo each other as to who can sound more bigoted and anti-immigrant, have been bantering about the term “anchor babies” to describe children born in the US to immigrant parents.

The following are statements for Angelica Salas, President of the CHIRLA Action Fund:

“Unsatisfied at labeling Latinos as ‘murderers’ and ‘rapists’, now GOP party strategists have started demonizing Asian immigrants too. Trump and Bush must think that by making all immigrants the boogeyman, their race to the White House is assured. They could not be any more mistaken.

“The term ‘anchor baby’ is offensive, derogatory, and xenophobic. There is absolutely no room in political discourse for intolerance, xenophobia, and racist epithets. If what these candidates are looking for is a term for children born in the US of immigrant parents, we offer the commonly-acceptable term, babies or US citizens.

“Many months remain before voters get to the polls in the primaries or the general election. It is unfortunate, however, that rather than building coalitions, proposing solutions to every-day problems, and celebrating what makes America great, including immigrants and our countless contributions, GOP candidates are poisoning the well they may very well drown in.”

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) was formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles; promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations; and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society.