By MARCUS WYLER
After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821 it made several crucial mistakes, the greatest of which was failing to secure its Northern Borders. Thus enabling thousands of Americans to illegally cross the borders and settle in the territories of Coahuila and Tejas. In a matter of years, English-speakers from America quickly became the majority in Texas. Texians began to demand things like statehood (a Mexican state), a regional capital, the freedom of religion, commerce, and owning slaves (and make English an official second language?). Mexico of course did not grant any of those wishes, which eventually led to the Texas Revolution in 1836, which led to the Mexican-American War 10 years later. In that time period, Mexico was dealt many humiliating defeats and ended up losing about 66% of their territory to the United States of America. If it weren't for the USA's victory, we might have never possessed today's national treasures such as the Church of Latter Day Saints, Hollywood, and 80's icon Dallas... Why am I bringing all this up you ask?
You know how they say that history has a habit of repeating itself? Well given our ailing economy and the two wars that don't seem to have an end in sight, immigration reform seems to have been forgotten about. I'm know where I stand on this issue (that's a whole different article) but I'm no expert on what kind of reform would be best, whether we should loosen our borders or close them... Whether we should grant amnesty or kick people out. I just know that something needs to be done, a compromise has to be made and soon.
In the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas, the U.S. citizens of Hispanic descent are swiftly becoming the majority and millions of illegal Mexican immigrants are joining their ranks. Like waves of immigrants before them, they come here in search of a better life, sometimes even risking their health to cross the border on foot. Most come for job opportunity, better wages, and safer living conditions. Many have families back in Mexico to support and feed. Some take jobs away from legal citizens by accepting lower wages. Some are actually better at the jobs. Unfortunately some also come to traffic drugs and fight gang-wars. But the fact remains, most are honest hard-working people who deserve the right to pursue their dreams.
The majority of them even pay U.S. taxes. The IRS says that at least 8 million illegal immigrants pay their yearly income taxes. How do they know? Back in 1996 the IRS began issuing special tax ID numbers specifically for that purpose. Why do the illegals pay them? Probably in hopes that in the future the U.S. government will reward them with some sort of citizenship and clemency. The U.S. government can't just brush aside 8 to 12 million PEOPLE when they are demanding attention. Especially when they have 44 million Spanish-speaking, American Citizens mostly concentrated in the same region, who are standing beside them... and they can vote.
I think our government is failing to see how important of an issue this is. These people can not and will not be ignored. Not only do Hispanics make up for about 30% of the population in the territories we took at the end of the Mexican-American War but some estimates say that in 10 years they will be the MAJORITY in the Southwest United States.
I know it's a long shot, but if indeed Texas and those other states became part of Mexico again... it wouldn't be that bad. Would it?