Thursday, November 29, 2007

Immigration and Deportation

A recent article on immigration shows the number of illegal immigrants is very high in historic terms. As high as it has ever been as a percentage of the population.

I have no problem with high levels of immigration. In my formerly lily-white family I can think of 5 cousins who are married to non-Euro foreigners, and all but one live in the US. Including myself. And all are legal immigrants.

I also have no problem with Latino immigration, Mexican or otherwise. I speak Spanish quite well and have lived in Latin America myself.

But I do not like politically active illegal immigrants in the US who demand 'rights', or who claim that this or that part of the US belongs to Mexico. They base their claims on various old Spanish land claims, or on a supposed ancestral connection to the land. Both are bunk. The Spanish attacked and conquered Mexico and large parts of what are now the US. They also claimed large areas they never occupied further north. Then the Texans, Californians and the US conquered it in turn. Our claim is as good as the Spaniards was, according to the rules of the game as played in those days. Besides, after the Texan and Californian independence the Spanish land grants remained in existence. The descendants of those claim-holders are now American citizens and have been since the beginning.

As for the genetic connection, well, ask the Apaches, Hopis and other Native Americans of the Southwest how they think about Mexican claims to their homelands. The aboriginals of Mexico may have fought wars of conquest against these peoples, but what rights does that give them now, 400 or 600 years later? Certainly the Mexicans descended from tribes further south of the border have no special family claims. The Aztecs were the bloody bullies of Mexico. We are supposed to celebrate their brutality and reward their descendants? If a Mexican can show that his family from time immemorial has lived within a hundred or two hundred miles of the border, maybe he has something to discuss. None of the other Mexicans do.

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