To the editor:
Hispanic migration to the United States is a hot political issue. Hispanics settled in present New Mexico in the 1500s before the English settled Jamestown or Plymouth. To appreciate the early Hispanic settlement of the Southwest read Willa Cather's book "Death Comes to the Archbishop." Since Spanish conquerors seldom brought Spanish wives, they married Indian women. Hispanics are, therefore, a Spanish and Indian racial mixture.
In the 1830s, Americans took Texas from Mexico. At the end of the Mexican War (1848), the United States forced Mexico to cede the vast territories now constituting California, Nevada, Utah and most of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Understandably, contemporary Mexicans may not respect the legitimacy of the Rio Grande boundary and its westward extension. Historical facts support the Hispanic claim to migrate and to live in the United States.
While teaching at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, I enjoyed knowing many delightful Hispanic children who came to our home to sing Spanish songs accompanied by guitar. Two Hispanic boys were in our son's Boy Scout troop.
Hispanic political power is growing. In spite of the poor Democratic Party showing of 2004, Colorado nevertheless elected Hispanics: Ken Salazar to the U.S. Senate and his brother John Salazar to the U.S. House. Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico is Hispanic and a potential Democratic presidential candidate.
With the increasing Hispanic population of California, Republicans may never again carry California in a presidential election.
John A. Bond,