To the editor:
Regulating immigration is a function of the federal government, not of border states like Arizona. Congress should promptly pass an immigration law permitting about 12 million undocumented Hispanics, mostly Mexicans, to become U.S. citizens. Many are doing very useful, hard work that few U.S. citizens care to do. Mexico should also be accorded a generous annual immigration quota.
Mexicans have a moral right to U.S. citizenship because the United States by aggression grabbed about two-fifths of Mexico’s territory in the 1830s and 1840s. Mexico did not have slavery, but southern frontiersmen and slave-owning planters occupied Texas and, by 1836, defeated Mexican forces and established the independent Republic of Texas. In 1845, Texas was admitted to the United States as a slave state.
Wanting to annex Mexican territory, President Polk got Congress to declare war against Mexico in 1845. The U.S. military conquered most of what is today New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, as well as all of California, Nevada and Utah, a huge land grab. In the peace treaty, the United States did pay Mexico a paltry $15 million for her terrible loss.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s recent visit to Washington as President Obama’s guest may well mark the start of a close cooperation between Mexico and the United States to solve mutual problems. These problems, including drugs and guns, will not be solved by border states copying Arizona’s immigration law!