Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.
Of all the colorful figures that populate Mexican history, few are more colorful than Porfirio Diaz. The scion of a devout Catholic family with ambitions to become a priest, he left the seminary to volunteer for service in 1846 in the Mexican War. Finding life congenial as a soldier, he never returned to the seminary. In 1846 he first met Benito Juarez and became a Liberal under his example and influence. His career until he became President intermingled politics with the military, and he served in both the Reform War and the struggle against the French, in which he became one of the chief commanders of President Juarez. He came to the Presidency in 1877 after leading a successful rebellion, one of several rebellions he led during his career. He would in effect rule Mexico until the Mexican Revolution in 1910, a period known as the Porfiriato. Mingling corruption with brute force, Diaz gave Mexico an authoritarian government that spurred rapid economic development. Diaz remained officially an anti-clerical Liberal, but privately he was a Catholic, and under his regime the anti-clerical laws were largely a dead letter. After the chaos that was the hallmark of Mexico in the Nineteenth Century, Diaz gave the country stability and peace. He was a dictator but a shrewd, competent one, skillful at balancing factions and always aware that public opinion was perhaps more important in a dictatorship than in a republic. In many ways he strikes me as a precursor of Francisco Franco, although the differences in the regimes they led are as pronounced as the similarities. Continue Reading
In the wake of Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico, go here to read about it, the US wasted no time in putting together a punitive force to enter Mexico and destroy or disperse Villa’s forces:
Fort Sam Houston, Texas,
March 11, 1916.
Fort Bliss, Texas.
Secretary of War has designated you to command expedition into Mexico to capture Villa and his bandits. There will be two columns, one to enter from Columbus and one from Hachita, via Culber- son Is. Rachita column will consist of Seventh Cavalry, Tenth Cavalry (less two troops) and one battery horse artillery. Columbus column will consist of Thirteenth Cavelry (less one troop) a regiment of cavalry from the east, one battery of horse artillery, one company of engineers and First Aero Squadron with eight aeroplenes. Reinforced brigade of Sixth Infantry, Sixteenth Infantry, First Battalion Fourth Field Artillery and auxiliary troops will follow Columbus column. Two companies of engineers will be ordered to Fort Bliss awaiting further orders. Necessary signel corps will be orderedf rom here. Will furnish you War Departmen instructions later. Have you any recommendations to make?
The troops designated to comprise the expedition were the 7th, lOth, 11th and 13th Regiments of Cavalry, 6th and 16th Regiments of Infantry, Batteries B and C, 6th Field Artillery, 1st Battalion 4th Field Artillery, Companies E and H, 2nd Battalion of Engineers, Ambulance Company Number 7, Field Hospital Number 7, Signal Corps detach-ments, 1st Aero Squadron and Wagon Companies, Number 1 and 2. Throughout the course of the expedition, much press attention would be given to the 1rst Aero Squadron deploying the cutting edge technology of airplanes. Pershing organized his force into a division of two cavalry brigades and one infantry brigade. Continue Reading
I am a proud American with a long and rich Mexican heritage.
My name is Tito Edwards and I approve this message.
(Biretta tip: Lucianne)
Conservatives are fairly comfortable with the point that if you ban or severely restrict guns, than only the criminals will be armed.
Let’s then ask ourselves: If we ban or severely restrict immigration (most especially from a right-next-door country with a much poorer economy, such as Mexico) aren’t we assuring that only criminals immigrate?
If it’s cross-border crime which is such a problem, would anti-immigration advocates be willing to support a massively increased legal immigration quota for Mexico (say 250,000 immigrants a year, rather than the current legal quota of ~25,000) in return for permission and cooperation from the Mexican government for US law enforcement and military units to hunt down cross border cartels?
The discussions here about Arizona’s new attempt at enforcing immigration law have set me thinking about a more general question: What should we do as a body politic in a situation in which a law we have passed seems impossible to enforce?
In a sense, no law is enforced perfectly. Cannibalism is against the law, yet it does still, on rare occasions, happen that someone kills and eats someone else. We don’t generally describe this as the laws against cannibalism “not being enforced”. Rather we describe it as someone breaking the law.
When we talk about a law not being enforced, we generally mean that a lot of people are breaking it, and yet few of them seem to be suffering the consequences. Thus, although murders take place on a daily basis in our country, we generally do not hear complaints that no one is enforcing the laws against murder, since we at least see the police and prosecutors going through the process of trying to arrest and prosecute people for those crimes.
The State of Arizona is only enforcing what is already law at the federal level. That being said and myself being the son of a legal immigrant from the nation of Mexico, the May Day protests and the highly unbalanced news reporting from the mainstream media have purposely distorted the legislation that has been passed in Arizona.
Having attended college and lived in Arizona for almost ten years I know for a fact that there are many good people living there and I am disappointed in how unfairly and untruthful they have been portrayed by the mainstream media.
The only other thing I want to say is that Roger Cardinal Mahony’s reprehensible choice of words to characterize the law that had been passed in Arizona is unbecoming of an archbishop.
Related posts on this issue here at The American Catholic:
Illegal Immigration: A Winning Issue for Democrats?
Catholic Worker View of NAFTA/Immigration
Mexifornia: A State of Becoming
Arizona, Immigration, and Moral Panic
Arizonas New Immigration Law
Somewhat related posts on this issue here at The American Catholic:
British Survey on Foreigners in the United Kingdom
I am a pretty big fan of the Catholic Worker movement and Dorothy Day. I see strengths in both liberal and conservative tendencies, and find both indications in my reading of the official documents and speeches/letters of our Catholic Hierarchy on political matters.
The following article is one that was published in the Houston Catholic Worker Newspaper back in 2008. The author, Dawn McCarty is a frequent writer and volunteer at the Worker House in Houston. She seems to combine the head and heart in her approach to the issue of illegal Mexican immigration into the U.S. I offer her analysis for your commentary: