It’s time to give back Texas

[It’s not often that something I write sparks conversation, but this little piece did the trick. And please, don’t take the first line at face value.]

It’s time to give back Texas

2/19/2008

I’d like to start off this editorial by saying that I absolutely despise illegal immigration. I detest the idea of someone trespassing into a country, refusing to adopt that country’s culture or language and endangering the nation as a whole. I think anyone who commits such an act should immediately be deported to their own country. Illegal aliens have no excuse for their actions.

This is why I think we need to give Texas right back to Mexico.

Here’s a little background. In the early 19th century, Mexico, newly freed from the chains of the Spanish Empire, allowed a few hundred settlers from the United States to occupy its northern landmass. This area was rather deserted, and the Mexican government feared that Spain would overtake that area unless it had some sort of population.

What happened next was, perhaps, one of the largest illegal immigrant movements in history. Land-hungry Americans quickly crossed the unprotected border into present-day Texas with a complete disregard to Mexican laws. They settled in droves, all with their eyes on the many agricultural opportunities that the country provided. Did these people bother to learn Spanish? Absolutely not. They continued to speak English as if it were the country’s national language. Did they bother to adopt any elements of Mexico’s culture? Not in the slightest. These people continued to see themselves as Americans, and cared nothing for their new country’s rich heritage. If this sounds familiar to today’s “immigration crisis” in Texas, well, you’re beginning to get my point.

By 1834, there were almost 4 times as many American illegals in Texas as there were Mexican citizens. And then, the worst possible thing for Mexico happened: the new immigrants revolted. With some local support, they established the “Republic of Texas” and declared it free from Mexico. The United States later tried to gain the land in a treaty; when that didn’t work, they fought for it in a war of conquest that both Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant adamantly opposed. By the onset of the Civil War, Texas was safely in American hands—along with Arizona, New Mexico and California. And with that, Americans considered these formerly Mexican lands rightfully theirs.

Forgive me for the history lesson, but I thought it was important to put today’s current events in context. As I write this, the United States finds itself engaged in a new “immigration debate,” one that pits us, the so-called preservers of freedom, against them, the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in Texas today. Politicians have vowed to “protect the border” and keep out those from Mexico. Others are enraged about how Mexican immigrants have been reluctant to adopt English as a second language and assimilate themselves into American society.

It’s funny. None of the advocates for border control and deportation seem to mention how we came to possess the great land of Texas in the first place. Perhaps it’s because we gained the territory with our own spree of illegal immigration.

Personally, I have a lot more respect towards the “illegal aliens” of today than the United States’ own breed of trespassers. These Mexican immigrants aren’t crossing the border to spread slavery or expand their operations, like we were; they’re trying to escape rampant poverty and crippling living conditions. They’re coming into Texas to secure a better life for their families and gain a better future. That’s exactly what our ancestors wanted when they went into Texas—along with their desire to tear it from Mexico and make the land a part of America.

Some people worry that, if the current rate of immigration keeps up, Texas and California will become the unofficial property of Mexico. I hope that they’re proven correct. It’s about time that a country whose northern territory was overrun by illegal aliens gets back its land. It’s about time that history reveals modern arguments for border control to be pure American hypocrisy. It’s about time that illegal immigration works in favor of Mexico, not against it.

There’s a popular slogan down south: “Don’t mess with Texas.” I think America has messed with it enough.

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