My Thoughts on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo

— by Rich Dunn, NVRDC 2nd Vice Chair

In 1836 Texas declared independence from Mexico, primarily over the issue of slavery, which Mexico had abolished in 1829. Mexico never relinquished sovereignty over Texas, and since slavery was an issue in the United States as well, it wasn’t until 1845 that a Southern president, John Tyler, formally annexed Texas as a slave state, precipitating the Mexican-American War of 1846-1847.

American forces quickly occupied 525,000 square miles of Mexican territories that are now California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and the western parts of Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico as an assertion of its “manifest destiny” to become a continental nation. What was left of Mexico was then invaded from several directions, and after a year and a half of war, Mexican forces were forced to surrender.

Under terms of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico relinquished sovereignty over Texas and ceded the occupied 525,000 square miles in exchange for $15 million (4.5¢ an acre / $1.20 an acre in today’s money) and some important political concessions.

Article 8 of the treaty states that “Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico … shall be free to continue where they now reside” and automatically become full American citizens one year from the exchange of ratifications, so in the context of Article 8, “now” meant May 30, 1949.

Article 9, which was rewritten by the US Senate during the ratification process, redefines “now” as an indefinite “proper time” in the future. It also states that “in the mean time” they “shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.” As congress has yet to decide that the “proper time” for full citizenship has arrived, “in the mean time” means now [2013] and Mexican-born residents of Nevada and other western states still have treaty rights to live and work here, with or without a green card.

Isn’t it time our country followed the law and showed some respect for the people we agreed to share the west with all those years ago? The treaty has no document requirements, so can we please stop calling our Mexican friends and neighbors “undocumented”? And since the treaty clearly recognizes the right of Mexicans to be here, isn’t it time we stopped calling them “aliens”?

It’s also worth looking at what has happened in US-Mexican relations in the decades since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo took effect 165 years ago.

Believing that the treaty meant what it said, the Census Bureau counted Mexican-born residents of the west as US nationals in every census from 1850 to 1920. Only since 1930 have they been treated as foreigners.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was in effect over 40 years before a joint survey team determined exactly where the border actually was, and then only to insure that the US Navy had access to San Diego harbor.

After immigration from Europe and Asia was almost completely shut down in the 1920’s, Mexican workers were actively recruited to relieve the resultant labor shortage.

When the Border Patrol was established in 1924, only ten agents were assigned to watch the entire southern border out of a single office in El Paso, Texas. And they were looking for illegal Chinese immigrants, not Mexicans.

There weren’t even any fences along the southern border until 1949, and then they were only put up to protect US ranchers from cattle infected with hoof and mouth disease.

Though there were mass deportations of questionable legality during the economic depression of the 1930’s, the Bracero program once again recruited Mexican workers to fill labor shortages in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.

Until 1965, there were no immigration quotas for Mexicans, yet only in the past 50 years have “illegal” workers from Mexico been considered fair game for exploitation that would otherwise be considered illegal, and targeted for detention and summary deportation that make a mockery of due process and basic human rights.

Awareness of the needless deaths, dislocations and disruptions of family life resulting from these draconian measures have become an increasingly heavy burden on America’s collective conscience, so the time has come for all of us to give serious thought to our moral and legal obligations stemming from Articles 8 and 9 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which is both an unfulfilled promise and the law of the land.

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Finally Confirmed: GOP ‘IS’ Out of Touch

GOP Report Shows Party is Out of Touch With Americans on Threats to Democracy: Money in Politics and Voter Suppression

The Republican National Committee released a report today reviewing its losses in the 2012 election cycle and laying out a roadmap for the future of the party.  People For the American Way Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“This report highlights what we already knew: that the Republican party is out of touch with America. Instead of addressing the party’s anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-worker policies that voters resoundingly rejected in 2012, today’s report calls for a complete gutting of campaign finance reform – in essence calling for even more big money to be poured into our elections.  If the Republican party were listening to Americans, they would know that the country supports finding systemic solutions to the problem of unregulated money in our political system.  The answer is certainly not to gut the regulations we already have in place.  Instead, we need to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC and related cases so that we can create more effective regulations to get big money out of our democracy.

“The GOP report’s recommendations on voting rights also underscore a continuing focus on keeping certain voters from the polls.  After an election cycle overflowing with examples of discriminatory voter suppression efforts aimed at historically disenfranchised communities, the report recommends an ongoing focus on so-called  ‘ballot security training initiatives.’  This is simply another phrase for the same voter intimidation tactics used in the name of preventing supposed ‘voter fraud.’  It’s baffling that the GOP thinks it can improve its image with people of color while still working to block their access to the ballot box.

“This report is yet another example that the GOP’s ‘soul-searching’ hasn’t gotten them very far.  It’s time to refocus our efforts on getting the big money out of elections and the voters into the voting booth.”

Ready to go?

Just exactly how much lipstick have they purchased?  Maybeline and Revlon combined couldn’t make enough lipstick to take care of that pachyderm.

Yesterday— the Republican National Committee released its wide-ranging “autopsy” report called the “Growth And Opportunity Project Report.” In it, the party admits to several shortcomings that contributed to the party’s wide losses in the 2012 election. A portion of the report includes market research from voter focus groups around the country. Not surprisingly, when asked to describe Republicans, respondents said that the party was “scary,” “narrow-minded,” “out of touch,” and full of “stuffy old men.”  What’s most interesting is that the report failed to quantify just how out of touch their party has become on a number of issues, from climate change, to marriage equality, to universal background checks, to women’s rights, to the minimum wage, and more.

The GOP thinks they merely have a messaging problem … and just need to change a few words they used to talk about things.  HAH! Now that’s a joke and a half.  Maybe they should look at their 2012 Platform. Better yet, maybe they should look at what is happening in State Legislatures and what members of their party have introduced in the Congress:

  • Restricting access to or insurance reimbursement of costs associated with an abortion;
  • Restricting time frames in which a woman could seek an abortion to 12-weeks and in on case, to 6-weeks from conception;
  • Mandating the use of transvaginal ultrasounds and other medically unnecessary procedures as a means to shame women;
  • Gleefully and gloatingly defunding Planned Parenthood;
  • Attempting to elevate “religious” rights above all others to allow zealots to assert their religious rights to deny all types of service and/or medications should it offend “their” personal religious beliefs, making their beliefs superior to yours;
  • Continually attempting to repeal Obamacare and providing NO replacement;
  • Promoting continued systemic discrimination against the LGBT community, as a whole, via marriage inequality espoused throughout our Nation’s income tax and estate tax structures;
  • Attempting to enact one voter suppression tactic after another to disenfranchise voters as well as restricting early voting opportunities;
  • Continually filibustering one bill after another, even those introduced by Republicans;
  • Blocking Consumer Financial Protection and making multiple attempts to repeal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform;
  • Promoting racial profiling as a means of harassment to convince Hispanics to “self-deport’ ;
  • Promoting Personhood for embryos and essentially demoting women’s status to nothing more than an incubator;
  • Replacing Democracy with Dictatorships (Overseers);
  • Promoting fatherhood visitation rights for rapists.

I’m sure I’ve missed of few other big issues we’ve had to overcome … but need I go on?  There’s a politically incorrect term we frequently used when I was in the Navy to define that kind of behavior.  The term stars with “cluster.”  The GOPs (Grouchy Old Patriarchs) problem is much more than a “messaging” problem.  It’s a policy problem and we should cheer them on  in pursuit of their messaging delusion.  It will most certainly shorten their path to minor party status.  We may have a few challenges to overcome in the short run, but we’ll all be much better off in the long run.

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself,  take your pick, click a pic or two.  Read/compare a few — then compare the numbers.

2012-GOP-Platform GOP Growth Opportunity Rpt 2009-GOP-Road-to-Recovery 2010-GOP-Better-Solutions
GOP 2012 Platform GOP Growth Opportunites 2009 Path to Recovery 2010-Better Solutions
2010-Pledge-to-America Path to Poverty v1.0 Path to Poverty v2.0 Path to Poverty v3.0
2010-Pledge to America P2P v1.0 P2P v2.0 P2P v3.0

Key Points of Obama Immigration Reform Proposals

America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.

It is time to act to fix the broken immigration system in a way that requires responsibility from everyone —both from the workers here illegally and those who hire them—and guarantees that everyone is playing by the same rules.

Read the full article at http://ramirezgroup.com/key-points-of-obama-immigration-reform-proposals

Think About It!

by Xiomara Rodriguez

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, in Nevada we start early voting, and trust me, I truly encourage early voting.

But before you go out to vote, I have some very short stories that I want to share with all of you, Democrats, Republicans and Independents.  And I really hope you take your time to read them before you go out to vote and then go out and vote.

The first story is about a middle class family with two children, both parents work, and 2008 elections were there.  But just before the election the market dropped, the husband lost his job and life got really bad for this family.  They thought that because the wife had a job they could weather the storm.  In reality the wife was getting 75 cents for every dollar her husband made.  And these extra 25 cents an hour would have meant so much for this family.  But the pay was not there and gradually they lost everything. She tried getting a raise, but she was told that the raise had to go to her male counterpart because he had a family to support.  The question was what about her family. Wasn’t her family just as important.  After Obama was elected and the economy started to move forward, the husband found a good job, and gradually the family started back on the road to recovery.  Think about it.

My second story is a look into the future if the wrong person wins this election.  It is about a young couple that wanted a child so bad they did everything they could to get pregnant.  Then one day the husband was at work and the young wife had taken the day off because there was a carpet installer coming to their house to give them an estimate for new carpets.

When the young husband comes home, he finds his wife bleeding in the middle of the living room floor; she had been raped by the carpet man.  The husband takes her to the hospital, but because the country elected a man who was against Roe vs. Wade, because that law was repealed, and because Obamacare has finally been defeated, there is no day-after pill available to give to the young wife.

A month after the rape, the young husband is faced with the fact that his young wife is pregnant, pregnant by a man who is not him.  All the work and energy and money that went into working toward their pregnancy is gone. All the dreams about having a child of their own are gone.  What is there left for them to do.  Think about it.

She was 18, a virgin, full of ideas for her future; she wanted to be an attorney in international law.  That had been her whole life dream.  It was early in the morning and her first class in college was at 7:30 in the morning.  She suddenly feels someone behind her.  The next thing she remembers is waking all mangled.

She had been raped and never saw her assailant.  She is taken to the hospital.  In one moment, all her dreams were shattered.  Her ability to be able to lose her virginity to a man she loved was taken away from her.  This action affected her negatively—for the rest of her life.  Just think about it.

She was raised here in the USA and spoke English fluently with no accent.  Oh—but her  Spanish, that was another thing.  She went to school here.  She worked very hard to get the best grades.  Believe it because a 4.0 average is not easy to maintain from Kindergarten all the way to High School.  She wanted to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and go to college.  But then, reality struck.  When it came time to apply for college, she could not because, that’s when she finally found out she was undocumented.  Her family had brought her to this country when she was just six months old.  This is the only place she calls home and now there is no home for her, no college, nothing other than being afraid to be deported.  She can’t work and she can’t study.  She is in limbo.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel when the President signed the Deferred Act giving her hope to at least go to college and stay in her “COUNTRY” for two more years.  Think about it.

Equal pay for equal work is something that affects many families today, not only single mothers, but wives, mothers, single women; everyone.

Rape is something that affects husbands, fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters and the victim; it changes all their lives forever.

Immigration not only affects the Latino community, it affects every immigrant in this country.

When you go out to vote on Saturday, October 20, 2012, or anytime during the early election period, or on Election Day, think about it:  How would you react in any of the above circumstances?

Think about it!