Thread: Mexicans migrate to 'their land'
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- 04-20-2006, 03:11 AM #1
Mexicans migrate to 'their land'
Deseret Morning News, Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Mexicans migrate to 'their land'
By Lee Benson
Deseret Morning News
Native Utahn David Timmins makes it clear up front that he has no personal issue with Mexico or the Mexican people. During a well-traveled career as a U.S. foreign service officer, he lived for a time in Mexico and says he enjoyed his posting there immensely.
But in light of the current consternation over immigration, the Harvard-educated diplomat thinks it's applicable to the debate to bring up something he learned while he lived south of the border.
"Mexicans see the Western U.S. as part of Mexico that was stolen from them 150 years ago," he says. "They believe this with all their heart."
It's his view that the thousands flooding across the border every month don't see themselves illegally immigrating into a foreign land.
They see themselves coming home.
And we're the illegals.
"I lived in Mexico 20 years ago," says Timmins, referring to his days as an embassy worker in Hermosillo in the late 1980s, "and during that time I reported without much attention being paid in Washington on the evolving Mexican government policy of passively promoting illegal immigration as part of a deliberate and long-range strategy to regain control of the border and mountain states it lost during the Mexican War of 1847-48."
Timmins points to a specific incident he remembers that pounded home to him the reality of what he is saying:
"I was visiting the Museum of National History in Mexico City where I observed a class of perhaps 40 10-year-old school kids sitting on the ground in front of a huge mosaic map that was labeled 'Mexico Integral,' or 'Greater Mexico.' Their teacher expounded on how the Norteamericanos stole half of Mexico in 1847. The map showed Mexico to include Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, most of Idaho, and Oregon and Washington up to the Alaska panhandle."
Timmins explains that, in addition to what the United States gained in 1847, Mexico also believes part of the territory sold to America by France in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 actually belonged to Spain, which by extension means Mexico.
"They (Mexicans) think we bought a disputed title," he says. "But luckily for us, (Thomas) Jefferson moved fast."
Add up all this history, Timmins says, and it explains "why every Mexican president, up to and including Vicente Fox, thinks his citizens are simply navigating to land that is historically their entitlement."
Further, he sees an objective to this passive navigation.
"They have an undeclared policy to retake by infiltration what they lost by infiltration," he says, comparing the large numbers of Mexicans currently streaming into U.S. territory to the large numbers of Americans who once poured into then Mexican-held strongholds in Texas, California and elsewhere; Americans who eventually turned their collective might into majority rule.
In other words, they're doing to us what we did to them.
Part of this "infiltration" is remaining fiercely loyal to their Latino culture — including such basics as music, food and, especially, language — while steering clear of becoming "Americanized" to any significant extent.
Timmins notes that unlike European immigrants who largely shake off their roots and their accents within a generation, Mexican immigrants — illegal and legal — tend to stay true to where they came from.
"Their object is to not shift the border on the maps but shift the border in people's minds," says Timmins.
At issue, he points out, is "Who will own the American Southwest a generation from now?"
The retired embassy worker isn't at all sure it's going to be the current home team. In his view, unless "serious reform" is put into place, including much stronger immigration rules that deny all benefits to illegals, including the ability to send money home, and impose serious penalties on American employers who hire illegals, the cultural slide will only increase.
"It is only going to corrupt our system if we don't get control of our borders and control of our assimilation process," he says. "The notion that all that is needed is enforcement of existing law plus a guest worker program is simplistic beyond description."
Lee Benson's column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and faxes to 801-237-2527.Need Law Enforcement Information? Click here for the Alipac Action Panel