It seems that Governor Bill Richardson isn't the only presidential candidate with a Mexican-born parent.
Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, can technically claim Latino
heritage as well. His father, href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Romney">George Romney,
was born in Colonia Dublán, Galeana, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
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George Romney, father of Republican presidential candidate
The elder Romney was born in a Mormon colony on Mexican soil that his
parents had fled to, for lack of a better word -- sanctuary. That's why,
it's rather ironic that Mitt, being the son of a man whose family fled
to Mexico for sanctuary reasons, would authorize a plan to slash funding
for American cities that declare themselves to be immigration sanctuary
Mitt's campaign is mailing Iowa Republicans a href="http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/news/newsbyid.asp?id=81470&cat=Politics+News&more=%2Fpolitics%2F">mailer
explaining his plan. One quote from the mailer says:
When America's major cities -- like New York, San Francisco
and many others -- adopt sanctuary city policies, they serve as magnets
for millions of illegal immigrants to cross the border and take
advantage of these legal protections.
Funny how history has a way of repeating itself in the most unexpected way.
According to the book, href="http://www.uofupress.com/store/product297.html">Mormon Colonies in
Mexico, published in 1938,
In the 1880s, as a
precondition to granting Utah statehood, the United States government
enacted laws to put a stop to the Mormon practice of polygamy.
Those who continued to practice this principle were forced underground
as federal marshals roamed the territory searching for "polygs." In
response, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looked for
safe places to send its members; many found refuge across the border in
The book recounts how the Mormon polygamists soon had grown so tired of
the constant pressure from the US federal government that several Mormon
leaders discussed "surrendering at the same time, overwhelming the
government with the proposition of jailing them all."
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Instead, several hundred families made their way to Mexico and
established several colonies. The book further states that local Mexican
citizens and state officials in the state of Chihuahua tried to drive
the polygamists out but they were spared by (drum roll) the Mexican
The Mormons lived in relative peace with their Mexican neighbors until
the Mexican Revolution. Then their settlements were overtaken by the
rebels and in 1912 the decision was made to send the women and children
back to the United States. At that time, the Mormons numbered 4,000.
Very few if any of the Mormon population in Mexico ever took
a decided interest in Mexican politics. They were content to be left
alone to look after their own affairs, their chief aim being to build up
and beautify their homes and subdue the wilderness that their children
and unborn generations might come into inheritances of which they could
be proud. At the time of the exodus, their aim had been well nigh
achieved and the thought of being permanently uprooted and the earnings
of a lifetime left to others had never entered the minds of these
industrious and frugal people. Always, they had indulged the belief that
Mexico was to be their permanent abode and with that thought in view
they had builded well.
Substitute Mormon for Mexican/Latino, reverse the countries where people
sought refuge and we see that history does repeat itself.
That the son of a Mexican-born Mormon would so easily forget or ignore
his own family history is testament to the fact of how anti-(Mexican)
immigrant hysteria has a stranglehold on common sense and has turned a
humanitarian issue into a volatile political football.
If Governor Romney's grandparents had never gone to Mexico but had
instead been imprisoned by US federal marshals, it's a safe assumption
that Romney's father may never have been born.
By virtue of the fact that his grandparents crossed the US-Mexico border
for sanctuary and the economic freedom to build a life for their family
underscores the reason why governments must create dignified, reasonable
and fair immigration policies, especially with neighbor countries.
It's all about humanity and the human instinct to survive, prosper and
live life with a purpose for living.