Who are the real illegals?

January 19, 2016
Jim Griffin

Jim Griffin

OPINION by JIM GRIFFIN

There’s been a massive amount of talk and blathering lately about so-called “illegal” immigrants, undocumented aliens, “anchor babies” and so on thanks to Donald Trump and the rest of the ultra right wing chorus of ignorant, hate filled harpies. What’s the truth? Who and what are really “illegal?”

The truth is that right here in California, as well as Nevada, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, the real “illegals” are anyone who is not of Mexican heritage — Anglos like myself and most of you.

How outrageous and ridiculous, right? Wrong. The truth is that in 1846 the United States Government, deep into its “manifest destiny” crusade (the idea that the United States had some kind of God given right to expand from the Atlantic to the Pacific – – no matter who else was already there), set up a phony confrontation with Mexican forces over a small strip of disputed land.

This was whipped up, under a careful and devious plan, to be (look like — in the press) an unprovoked attack on “peaceful” American forces. So an “illegal” war was declared on Mexico — the Mexican American War.

The United States “won” and forced at gunpoint a “treaty” with Mexico that ceded the above territories in 1847. All of a sudden people who had one minute been citizens of their own country, Mexico, became “aliens” without legal status in what were now new territories of the United States. Much repression, many expulsions and land seizures, and much forced “returning to Mexico” took place against the Mexican citizens in what had been Northern Mexico.

An Imperial land grab, a theft, pure and simple. And don’t even try to say it was “OK” because the United States did it and then complain when Russia or somebody else does it today.

Think of all the natural resources in those now western states. Think what an economic and cultural blow this all was to Mexico, how destabilizing.

Think of all the historic ramifications. Add to this the many manipulative and rigged “trade” set ups that subsidized American agriculture and ruined millions of Mexican small farmers (corn farmers especially), driving them into big Mexican cities looking for non-existent jobs, and you have an idea why so many Mexicans are desperate to come over the border to find work, mostly extremely hard manual labor paying little.

They are lured here by greedy ranchers, agribusinesses and factory/industry owners who brazenly break the law to do so but are almost never prosecuted, and certainly not beaten, threatened, and thrown into holding cages like the would be workers are when caught by U.S. border agents. Then too is the fact that the application process for legal work visas into the United States is amazingly slow, cumbersome — and very expensive for these extremely poor people.

Of course, after almost 169 years it would be a massive effort to undo the institutionalized injustice of stealing half of a neighbor country. But a settlement of some decent kind should and could be made between Mexico and the United States — if the political will was there.

In the meantime, at the very least, we must arrive at a just and non repressive system of expedited work visas, including legal residency with full legal rights and workers’ rights, along with various paths to U.S. citizenship and a system of pooled social security systems for both Americans living and working in Mexico and Mexicans living and working in the United States.

Most importantly, we must end the discrimination, racism, and dehumanizing stereotypes against Latinos and Latinas — especially the label “illegal.”

So the next time the racist, ultra nationalist, big lie artists start spewing their poison about “illegals”, think about the above history and about who and what are and were really “illegal.”

Do you have legal papers for being in what should still be Northern Mexico? I don’t, and neither do you. Sobering, no?


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dell

The attempt by Mr. Griffin to justify “legals” as the inhabitants at a particular time is just silly. All the conquered peoples were once conquerers themselves, starting before the Aztecs, Commanche, and Tongva (Los Angeles to San Diego).


One exceptional indigenous people were the Chumash. And anyone sneaking in from Mexico or further south would definitely have been dangerous and illegal in their eyes. However the Chumash were so innocent and ignorant they could have done nothing for or against any immigrant or invader. They couldn’t even manage themselves, only having a population of maybe 20,000 after 13,000 years of residency in a veritable garden of Eden.


Collateral damage from an attitude of manifest destiny notwithstanding, America has done more good for more people than any institution in the history of the world. It can not maintain the stability of that system if it becomes an unrestricted dumping ground.


Pelican1

Sobering, no? NO! I can only imagine what California would be like were it not for manifest destiny…a desert wasteland much like the Mexico of today.

Your attempt to revise history and somehow try and blame me for the past is foolish at best.

If you truly feel you are here without “papers” then leave.


ml1999

So Mexico couldn’t defend it’s own territory, and that’s our fault?


There was a lot of land where they had minimal representation. Indians were also making raids into Mexico, stealing horses and goods.


It’s far more complicated than the evil white man shafting humble Mexicans.


Kaiser Bill

The American West was so much better off when the Mexican Aztecs were practicing human sacrifice and ripping out hearts before the evil Spanish arrived.


Let’s expel all the evil Whites and begin human sacrifice anew.


kettle

Mexican Aztecs in the American West ? Pyramids?


“Let’s expel all the evil Whites” Yes lets.


Kaiser Bill

Once we expel all the evil whites we can go back to the good old days before those evil whites invented the automobile, electricity, railroads and all those other signs of modernity.


euroamerican

Jim, if the Europeans had not purchased Northern Mexico. We would have focused our attention, and settled further North in Oregon and Washington states. I would bet that today we would still be discussing the same issue of Illegal Aliens, only we would be discussing our Oregon and Washington State problems. Illegals are not just in California so your point that we stole Northern California from the Mexicans that is why they cross the California borders is a fallacy. They are illegally living all over this Country.

Mexican Government loves the United States All that money that the Illegals make here, and send back into the Mexican economy. They pay very little in taxes, they claim so many deductions it is laughable. They have children, and all the benefits that go along with having that American Citizen. Housing, healthcare, dentistry, education, meals, allows them to send the their wages back into Mexico. So they are not coming here for the minimum wage. They are very informed as to how to apply for our benefit programs either by the Mexican government or their friends who are already here, and have already gone through the system.

Mexican Agriculture is booming it’s hard to find produce grown in California. Why aren’t these Mexicans finding work in their own country. They probably could, but not at the wage they get here. So why keep knocking the US for paying minimum wage, its a heck of lot more than Mexico pays it’s own….

If we can not find Americans who want to perform these hard labor jobs then we should be providing work permits to Mexican people who want to come and work. No families just workers. These workers should be vetted thoroughly. The work permit would allow them to travel back and forth across the border. When the season is over they should return to their Country. The Employer should be responsible for, fair wage, and medical insurance.


BeenThereDoneThat

Well from that everything conservative is evil rant in first paragraph we know who Slowerfaster is.


To also expand on what FineWine said about those coming across land bridge from Alaska, we could also go back to garden of Eden and everyone who left that garden was imposing on lands.


One other thing there Jim is that EVERYBODY was taking lands for hundreds of years and most at the turn of the 20th century stopped imperialism. Man reading this article made my I.Q drop from how lame it was.


shelworth

First, no one should ever stoop to name calling, second, what an idiot.


r0y

I see what you did there! ;-)


FineWine

What an absolutely ridiculous statement by someone that is oblivious to history. First of the Mexicans also took it from the Spaniards that took it from the Native Americans who walked from Asia during the ice age and took from Nature. So there give it back to nature. Obviously we took as fair and square as everyone else did so it is our now. We are a nation of laws and being a citizen to live here is an important one. We cannot handle the influx of every single human being that wants to come moving here. I wonder where the writer lives, I bet its in some million dollar home far away from any illegals.


Black Copter Pilot

You can give your piece back, Jim, and define illegal anyway you want, I’m keeping mine and if you are here legally, you are illegal


Black Copter Pilot

That should be “not here legally” this site needs an edit feature for folks like me