Issues of immigration have been major parts of Donald Trump’s racist and nationalistic demagoguery from the beginning. But even progressive voices miss certain important points. The truth is that the whole complex mess around undocumented Mexicans goes back to 1846-47, the Mexican-American War.
This was a trumped up (no pun) military adventure based on, as usual, lies and fictionalized hysteria. The result was an American “victory” and the theft of the northern half of Mexico (including California) — all part of the “Manifest Destiny” obsession that the United States had some “sacred destiny” to expand across the whole North American continent, regardless of who was already there, namely Native Americans and Mexicans. Overnight, Mexicans were citizens in their own country one minute and detested, “illegal” aliens the next.
Obviously, this caused massive disruption of the Mexican nation, economy, culture and people. Rightfully, California and the Southwestern U.S. should still be part of Mexico. So who are the real “illegals”?
Remember all this the next time you hear about “criminal aliens.” The truth is always more complex than simplistic slogans from Big Lie demagogues like Trump and his minions. We can’t go back to pre-1846. But we can craft a decent and humane set of solutions.
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Jim Griffin, San Luis Obispo