Illegal Immigrants from the US, and the partitioning of the El Norte nation

In the early 1800’s Mexico was inundated with illegal immigrants from the United States, who were seeking land and opportunity there. Many were concerned about the immigrants’ resistance to learning the Spanish language and to assimilate and Mexicanize, and also their distinct practices like slavery, which was illegal in Mexico but not in the US. But despite these concerns, Mexico decided to grant the illegal US immigrants legal rights and citizenship in Mexico if they would cooperate and follow the law. In the end the immigrants decided to fight to become an independent state. They were joined in their struggle by nortenos, Mexicans from the northern parts of Mexico where the immigrants had settled. The result of wars with Texas patriots, and with the US, was that Mexico lost a third of its territory to the United States. In these areas, many nortenos still reside. They are not immigrants. They were there before the US Americans were, members of a distinct culture and nation/ethnicity called El Norte, which straddles both sides of the Rio Grande river, is distinct from the nation/culture of central Mexico, and has always had closer economic, cultural, and social ties and similarities with the US to the north than it has to Mexico City to the south. The US/Mexico border essentially cuts through the center of the El Norte nation. How might this historical perspective inform the immigration debate?

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Categories: History | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Illegal Immigrants from the US, and the partitioning of the El Norte nation

  1. Don

    great thoughts Riley; I have always believed that our current situation represents ” poetic justice” for the way we treated Mexico during our manifest destiny years in the good ole USA Don Hancock

    • It seems clear to me that due to the close historical ties of nortenos in northern Mexico with the US, they should be treated as a special case when it comes to immigration and legal status, considering that the US sits on their ancestral ethnic territory.

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