It received little coverage in the mainstream news dailies, but many bloggers highlighted the significant influence of “Reconquista” advocates and concepts in the recent pro-immigration marches across the country. Reconquista aims must be honestly confronted by all sides if the immigration debate is to be honestly conducted and credibly resolved.
The first thing to understand about Reconquista is that while it is perhaps not the official policy of Mexico, it might as well be. Current and former top Mexican government officials and advisers, for example, along with leaders of U.S. groups like the National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, routinely co-host seminars of the Foundation for Solidarity of Mexico and America, according to Hector Carreon of the Aztlan Communications Network. The basic aim of FSMA, which is a key convergence point of open-borders advocacy in both countries, is uninterrupted immigration from Mexico to the U.S.
“Aztlan” is the ancient Aztec word for the lands of California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, which more radical Hispanic activists have long claimed were stolen by “gringos” from Europe and that are now to be retaken via massive immigration that eventually produces Hispanic majorities at all levels of governance. But whether expressed more moderately by groups such as FSMA or more radically by explicitly separatist voices like MEChA, Aztlan is the animating spirit of the Reconquista movement. That spirit is reflected in remarks like this by a former California state secretary of health, education and welfare: “California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn’t like it should leave.”
Behind such calls looms the dismal Mexican economy, which, as author and historian Victor Davis Hanson notes in the latest Claremont Review of Books, desperately needs the flow of workers to the U.S. because they send an estimated $10 billion to $15 billion back home annually. Plus, there are the immense costs shifted from Mexico to our education, health care and law enforcement systems that must serve the needs of the waves of immigrants, legal and illegal. Those of us living north of the border are thus subsidizing corruption south of the border that enables Mexican politicians and their wealthy friends and family members to live the good life without being held accountable for the millions of Mexicans who suffer grinding poverty and hopelessness.
President Bush should call upon President Vicente Fox and other Mexican political leaders to disavow the Reconquista movement explicitly and to adopt much-needed reforms to expand economic opportunity and spread the wealth more widely in their nation. And Congress should reiterate in law and regulation that, while we will always welcome the world’s huddled masses, those who immigrate to America are expected to become Americans.
To do otherwise is to risk growing in the U.S. precisely the same sort of fevered separatism that now racks France and Germany.
Folks, contrary to opposing claims, this is a dangerous movement. The movement is small now. What would happen if all those millions of immigrants decide that, yes, joining the movement would be a good idea? Perhaps Washington is toopreoccupied with the "War on Terrorism," the "War on Iraq," the "War on Drugs," etc., etc., to notice. Let them know what you think.