Sins of Omission

Mexican in Name Only

For several years, Charles Truxillo, a professor at the University of New Mexico, has been proclaiming that the American Southwest will—and should—be reconquered by Mexico through massive immigration.  Most politicians and media have either ignored Truxillo or tried to characterize him as an isolated extremist, claiming that most Mexican immigrants have no political agenda and cross the border only to find work.  

A Zogby International poll, however, conducted in Mexico at the end of May, suggests that Truxillo’s views reflect those of the majority of Mexicans.  A startling 58 percent of Mexicans claimed “that the territory of the U.S. Southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico” and an equally startling 57 percent thought that they “should have the right to enter the United States without U.S. permission.”  Welcome to the mainstream, Professor Truxillo.  

The Southwest has been formally a part of the United States since 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, and informally since 1846, when the region was occupied by American troops.  That’s more than 150 years.  How long was it Mexican?  All of 26 years.  Before that, it was Spanish, and before that, it was turf contested by dozens of tribes of American Indians.  Moreover, Spain (and, later, Mexico) occupied less than one percent of the vast region.

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