Lee Benson, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City), April 19, 2006
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 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.
(Posted on April 20, 2006)