Tuesday, August 25, 2015 10:15 PM

By: Cathy Burke

Jeb Bush came under fire for declaring "anchor babies" are more a problem for Asians than Hispanics, but he had a point, according to some experts.

The backlash to Bush's remark Monday in McAllen, Texas includes a blast from California Democratic Rep. Judy Chu, head of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Politico reports.

"'Anchor babies' is a slur that stigmatizes children from birth," she scolded.

But Bush aides say he was referring to the "birth tourism" trend, in which foreign women travel to the United States specifically to give birth so the child will be a U.S. citizen – a phenomenon federal authorities have been increasingly scrutinizing, Politico reports.

For example, Politico reports, federal agents raided several places in Southern California in March as part of a probe authorities say showed evidence of birth-tourism businesses specifically catering to the Chinese.

In April, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California charged 10 Chinese nationals with violating court orders in connection with a birth-tourism investigation.

The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for stricter immigration policies, estimates there are about 36,000 so-called birth tourists every year.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of children born in the United States to illegal immigrants totaled 340,000 in 2008.

"Honestly, for someone who’s supposed to be Mr. Expert [on immigration] because someone put his name on a book, he doesn’t seem to have a better mastery of it than Donald Trump," Mark Krikorian, CIS’ executive director, tells Politico.

Bush’s 2013 book was titled "Immigration Wars."

Krikorian tells Politico though birth tourism has been largely associated with the Chinese, so-called birth tourists have also come from countries such as Korea, Turkey, Russia and Nigeria.