Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said Tuesday at an event in Iowa that he is not an “anchor baby.”
The declaration came in response to a question from an audience member after Jindal spoke about his parents’ immigration from India to the United States, joking that he was a “pre-existing condition” at the time, according to The Des Moines Register.
“Did I hear you say you were an anchor baby?” the audience member asked, as quoted by the newspaper.
“No, no, I’m not,” Jindal responded. He went on to ascribe talk about him being an “anchor baby” to progressives and labelled the chatter a distraction from the real issues, according to The Des Moines Register.
Jindal followed presidential rival Donald Trump’s lead last week in calling for an end to the policy of birthright citizenship, which automatically grants citizenship to children born on U.S. soil regardless of their parentage.
As TPM previously reported, a fringe movement of self-described “strict constitutionalists” believe that Jindal isn’t even eligible to mount a presidential campaign because his parents were not naturalized U.S. citizens at the time of his birth. But Jindal does indeed qualify as “natural born” citizen, according to a 2011 report from the Congressional Research Service on presidential eligibility requirements.