Saturday, January 6, 2007
It seemed like a perfect formula for good publicity: A national sweepstakes would award a $25,000 United States savings bond to the first American baby born in 2007, courtesy of the toy chain Toys “R” Us and its Babies “R” Us division. Instead, after disqualifying a Chinese-American baby girl born in New York Downtown Hospital at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s, the toy company finds itself caught in the glare of the immigration debate, stumbling over the nation’s new demographic realities. The baby girl, Yuki Lin, was an American citizen from the second the ball dropped in Times Square, where the Toys “R” Us flagship store draws thousands of shoppers from around the world. But like 6 out of 10 babies born in the city — including at least two others born in Brooklyn about the same moment — she has immigrant parents. And according to the contest’s fine print, the chain decided, she was ruled out because her mother was not a legal resident. Click here for the NY Times story by Nina Bernstein in the fallout.
A HAPPY POSTSCRIPT CNN reports (click here) that, after coming under fire for denying a Chinese-American infant a $25,000 prize in a New Year's baby contest because her mother was not a legal U.S. resident, the Toys "R" Us company said that it had reversed its decision.