Posted on December 18, 2019

Illegals and the American Birthright

Noel S. Williams, American Thinker, December 18, 2019

Pete Buttigieg, supposedly one of the more moderate Democrat candidates for president, believes that illegal aliens are just reclaiming stolen land.   I can picture him toting one of those mischievous banners popular with the Open Borders mobs: “we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.”  Not only is that historical bunk, but it is illegal aliens who are stealing stuff, including our finite resources and, ultimately, our American birthright.

Whose land, exactly, was “stolen”?  Who crossed whose border?  Many Tejanos who lived in Texas wanted to break away from Mexico and supported the Texas revolution.  After smiting Santa Anna and declaring independence, they favored annexation by the United States.

Similarly, in Alta California, most new settlers and Californios (Hispanic natives of California) supported a revolt against the unstable Mexican government.  Even before the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), Californios incited several revolts against the Mexican government, as outlined in this National Park Service lesson.

After giving them a thorough whipping in the war — U.S. forces even raised the Stars and Stirpes over the Halls of Montezuma in Mexico City — the U.S. magnanimously paid Mexico $15 million, and several more millions to pay off Mexican debt to U.S. citizens.  Considering the Louisiana Purchase, comprising more land, also cost about $15 million, an interpretation is that Mexico, having been soundly humiliated in battle, can be thankful we anted up at all. After all, they desperately petitioned for peace.

Whose land was stolen?  Mexico only controlled the land they relinquished in the Mexican Cession for one short generation, and our financial payments generously helped alleviate their financial crisis.  Admittedly, Mexicans who stayed in the U.S. sometimes struggled to assert their property rights, but who did they “steal” their land from?  The Spanish?  Then who did the Spanish “steal” it from?  Native Indians?  Well, it’s reflexively repeated that “we are all immigrants” (actually, British subjects had been here quite a while before throwing off the yoke of monarchy and constructing a “more perfect union”) but it’s not the Native North Americans who cross our borders in rapacious hordes.

For perspective, much of the land ceded in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 had been controlled by the Spanish conquistadors for three centuries.  It wasn’t until 1821 that Mexico gained independence; then they proceeded to screw everything up during their brief 27-year misrule of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico.

Stipulating that the Mexican government was dysfunctional downplays their utter futility and instability — by 1846, after just 24 years of incompetent independence, they’d had dozens of changes of government.  Political strife was rife.  Move over, Mexico — it took American enterprise, ingenuity, and industry to make California golden; under Spain and Mexico it was a sparsely settled, poor, backwater province.  Furthermore, remote Mexico City would have been incapable of managing the inundation of gold prospectors, whereas America’s Manifest Destiny was inexorable, as the United States expedited the incorporation of California.  All things considered, they should be thankful we didn’t annex all of Mexico, which was a proposition; actually, given their state of degradation, maybe we should be relieved.

Not only was the land not “stolen” from Mexico, neither was it stolen from anyone in Central America, who brazenly carry their banana republic’s flags while desperately scurrying across our border.  If anyone is stealing, it is they who are siphoning our resources and misappropriating our birthright.  They are enticed by a vibrant system with stable institutions (the Dem-controlled House notwithstanding) and a flourishing economy entirely lacking whence they came.

Some countries are rich in natural resources, but harbor poor populations. It’s more than land, no matter its provenance, that lays the foundation for wealth creation. Stable systems of government, law, finance, industry, communication, transportation… all contribute.  As does adherence to the cherished tradition of enjoying the fruits of one’s labor.  It’s more than the land that enables freedom-loving peoples to pursue happiness; our Founders fine-tuned the instruments of a great republic, creating the most harmonious symphony of classical liberalism (modern liberalism is diseased) to date.

We have a great capacity to share our bounty with legal immigrants yearning to breathe free, but illegal hordes are depleting our nation’s resources.  They’re dependent on government largesse, they rely on mandated services that help “limited English proficient” people file claims for “free” stuff, they require remedial education, and they burden our strained law enforcement and health care services, even while disrespecting them.

America has the noblest tradition of helping the needy, but for the greater good, they must abide by the rule of law to properly partake in our plenty.  Moreover, by invigorating the diabolical Democratic base who would overthrow our republic, they are squandering our birthright; including, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

As President Trump said, “Americans are dreamers, too.” So let’s end on a positive note as we enforce our borders and relish our supreme sovereignty.  Rather than remake our great country in the image of Latin America, let’s rejoice in the national treasures the Founders bequeathed to us.  Legal immigration is deeply woven into the fabric of our society.  Those who make some effort to assimilate into their country of choice, and respect our foundational principles, can help stitch our colorful tapestry of ethnicities and cultures under the glorious red, white and blue canopy of E Pluribus Unum.  That includes legal immigrants whose family hails from Malta, and who look like Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman.