Bush’s comments at odds with Nashuans

Occasionally candidates of both parties say something they shouldn’t. Like all of us, they make mistakes too. What we must be concerned with is what someone does after their initial mistake. Do they take responsibility or do they double down? Last week, Jeb Bush found a third option, even worse than doubling down.

When asked if his repeated use of the term "anchor baby" was offensive to the Latino community, Jeb said no because he was really singling out "Asian people." In five seconds, Jeb slandered all Asian Americans, and their children. He claims they are perpetuating an organized effort to defraud the American people.

The kindest word for his comments is intolerant.

When I ran for state representative two years ago, I was saddened to hear my Republican opponent claiming that my campaign was turning Nashua into "New Delhi" and predicting that "they" would be "coming out of the woodwork" on Election Day to support me. I am proud of my Indian-American heritage, but there was more to my candidacy than where my family is from.

As I told The Telegraph at the time, Nashua "is not New Delhi. This is 21st century America. I’ve worked to represent the entire community, not just the Indian community. I’m American. My kids were born here. This is my home, our home. There is no room for this kind of talk. It just saddens me."

If Jeb Bush was here tomorrow I would tell him the same thing. "Gov. Bush, I was saddened to hear you degrading aspiring Americans as anchor babies."

Jeb Bush isn’t the only candidate repeating this nasty term, though. We are hearing the same degrading rhetoric from Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal. The Republican Party as a whole is backsliding toward the bigoted language my opponent was called out for two years ago, at a time when they should be challenging their candidates to be more inclusive.

This is the campaign season and we in New Hampshire are proud to have the first presidential primary. So let us look at the issues instead of engaging in name calling. Here are a few, for starters:

Just like Donald Trump, Jeb Bush also wants to repeal President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. So do Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich. And when it comes to opposing a path to citizenship, Bush isn’t the only one on the wrong side of the issue. So are Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and Chris Christie.

No matter where you are from, if you love this country enough to make it your home, there should be a path to full and equal citizenship for you and a due process for that – this is part of the fundamental promise of America.

We are a nation of immigrants. Immigrants in Nashua and across the country contribute to the economy and the Democratic process and strive to be contributing members of their local community.

As residents of New Hampshire’s Gate City, the people of Nashua welcome people from other states and countries. I know when I moved here with my husband in 1989, we were looking for a home to raise our family. In our hearts we wanted so much to be active members of the community. We were welcomed, and Nashua more than anywhere else will forever be our home.

The candidate I am supporting, Hillary Clinton, believes that America is strongest when families are strong. She has backed up those words with actions; backing President Obama’s executive order to protect DREAMERs and young people; calling for a path to full and equal citizenship, because second-class status is not the American way; and repeating her commitment to passing bipartisan comprehensive reform to fix our broken immigration system.

Latha Mangipudi represents Nashua’s Ward 8 in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.