The only problem with your comparison of illegal immigrant pioneers to the
illegal immigrants of today is that back in 1847, the only people in this part
of Mexico were a few bands of Indians. They certainly didn't have near the
economic and social infrastructure in place that we do today. They weren't
worried about being forced to cover exorbitant healthcare costs for those that
couldn't because they did it out of the good of their heart and because the
onerous health care system of today simply didn't exist back then.
Unfortunately, the lifestyle choices of many today lead us farther down that
path. I appreciate your desire to persuade readers to be more
sympathetic to the plight of modern illegal immigrants, but trying to give them
a pass by comparing their legal status to that of the original Mormon pioneers
ignores important economic and social contexts.
More subtle, pro-amnesty sophistry, this time using the occasion of Pioneer Day
to once again promulgate the false doctrine that to be "sympathetic" is
to look the other way at illegal immigration. I doubt the 19th
Century pioneers were teaching their children that the way to residency in
America is dishonesty, illegality, and disrespect for one's neighbor, which
eventually will pay off in the form of Amnesty. The area back then was
unsettled. There were no prohibitions on illegal entry. Today's Utah is a
CIVILIZED SOCIETY with laws for orderly -- and fair -- immigration. Again, the
analogy between the pioneers of yesterday and today's illegal aliens, is
false. Certainly locals who knew better weren't pushing for
legislation that would benefit a few special interests only at the expense of
the rest of society, and, even more immoral, confirm for children the false
lesson they were taught -- that dishonesty and illegality is the right way.It is time for compassion for the plight of the American family -- which
suffers as a direct result of illegal immigration. The only true compassion is
equal treatment at the law. Prof. Davis may want to read the 12th Article of
When the pioneers arrived, we were at war with Mexico (Morman Batallion), they
had withdrawn from all the land north of our present border. The war for the
territories that joined America was over.Mexico had no immigration
offices in the US. They had no immigration laws. We do, and we need to enforce
them. If all Utahns left the state, and Mexico and the Latin
American countries military forced the few remaining people out, it would be the
same. As it is, there are no similarities.
Great article. People sometimes forget their history and how it relates to their
present. We do not need more xenophobia, we need a more humane and compassionate
approach. Thanks for the perspective.
From the Ute's prespective, this was the day the White man showed up to
invade their homeland. Utah Valley had a sizable Native American population.
They relied on the fish from Utah Lake to supplement their diets. When the
Pioneers came to Utah Lake they rapidly depleted the fish population there, much
to the chagrin of the Utes. With the Reconquista of Utah by the Hispanic
immigrants, I wonder how long it will be before a person like Samueal the
Lamanite is raised up?
As residents of California who have had many experiences with Spanish speaking
immigrants beginning with my husband's first mission to Mexico in 1955 and
a couples mission to Guatemala in 1997, I have mixed feelings about the current
debate because it seems to focus on giving all of them a free pass or giving
none of them anything, and I think the answer has to come from somewhere in the
middle and it needs to be a reasonable one. Having lived in Guatemala, I know
how difficult their life is.We have worked with two Spanish speaking
branches of the church in the US and have come to love and respect those people.
For many of them, the adjustment to the US culture is even harder than what
they go through to cross the border and they find life here only marginally
better than back home. But before we condemn them, check our own history. In
Utah, the Utes were displaced, but the history of the European/Americans and the
Native American tribes is not something we an be proud of. Hopefully, serious
consideration of all the factors in this question will be part of decisions
made regarding their status.
I get so confused when a article like this talks of illegal migrants and legal
immigrants and lumps them together as "immigrants". I am surprised (or
maybe not) that a professor would try to mislead us.
Like many of you above, I too long for the good old days. You could homestead
land free, shoot as many buffalo as you wanted or deer and no taxes to pay.
Crossing borders for Kenghis Khan was sooo easy and no passport required. But
folks this is not 1850, gas isn't 5 cents a gallon and every country,
including Sudan, has immigration laws. When I drove a car to Panama in 1965 we
had to stop at every border, have our papers in order complete with visas, and
pass only at the hours the border was open including not passing during lunch
(3) hour. So forget the pioneers, you have to have a passport and a visa. If
not, you are breaking the law. All countries have them so smarten up, we are
not requiring something unusual.
Just another misleading article pandering to illegal immigration. The pioneers
were forced out of the United States with violence, and still provided service
to the country with the Mormon Battalion. Illegals sneak across the border
breaking the law the moment they set foot, and sponge off of the citizens. The
comparison is not even close.
How can the pioneers be blamed for driving out the Utes (and other tribes), then
complain the land belonged to Mexico. You can't argue both.
Spain nor Mexico established permanant settlements in Utah. It's a silly
argument made to play on a false guilt.
When Mexicans moved into what was there in Texas they got permission from
Mexico, they agreed to abide by Mexican law as a condition for their being let
in. Mormon pioneers didn't get permission therefore they were in violation
of Mexican law at the time when they came to Utah, they were .. illegal
immigrants.Hats off to the LDS Church for recognizing that while
obeying the law is important, not allowing the law to be as a hammer to push
needy people in need further down is even more important.How many
people honor the Mormon pioneers while disparaging the modern immigrants? Should
we not judge ourselves and our ancestors the same way we judge others? I believe
Jesus answered that question when he said .. love your neighbor as yourselfTo those who say this land wasn't inhabited by Mexicans there for
the immigration was okay does that mean Russia pour people into Alaska because
much of it is uninhabited?
I will forever be stunned at the animosity shown toward the weakest and most
vulnerable among us--those who build our homes and buildings, landscape our
properties, clean our toilets and make our beds and wash our dishes. There is
something very dark at the heart of the conservatives who want to victimize
these people further. I say give them a work card and let them come in freely.
A wonderful article and a much needed perspective. Once again, Professor Davis
enhances our national dialogue. Is this a pro-amnesty article. Perhaps
somewhat, and a good thing too.
@Irony Guy"I will forever be stunned at the animosity...""There is something very dark at the heart of the conservatives who
want to victimize these people further."Not only are the above
accusations lies, they also falsely transfer culpability from the guilty to the
innocent. Upholding the law is not "animosity." Not allowing the poor
to shoplift is not "further victimization."Animosity is
disrespectfully trampling upon the laws and customs of a sovereign nation. It
is an affront to those throughout history who have fought and died to defend it.
The American people are the actual victims. I will forever be
stunned at the utter lack of scruples and the pure greed of Utah businessmen who
gladly will sell out the nation and even the birthrights of their own children
and grandchildren in order to protect their illegitimate, cheap-labor pool and
avoid paying their fellow Americans a fair wage. And there is
something very dark at the heart of persons who also will bear false witness
against their neighbor and spread false propaganda in order to facilitate their
anti-enforcement, pro-cheap-labor agenda. No wonder Jesus spoke of
camels, and of eyes of needles.
The author, sadly, shows a huge lack of respect for Mormon, (and other)Pioneers
of the west.Did the pioneers, upon arrival in S.L. Valley ask for
WIC, foodstamps, or any other kind of charity administered (through force)by the
U.S. government?Did they DEMAND schools teach any/all of kids in
their "native tongue"?Did they break laws, and continue to
break laws all the time they were here?I grew up in a
mining/industrial town that was largely made up of ethnic minorities. I
can't remember even ONE ethnic minority that didn't speak English.
Nor did I EVER hear of them ever breaking laws. It was SEVERELY frowned
upon.Its always interesting to me to hear those who claim
"Indians were here first" (or whoever).Their "land title"
arguments seem to end at about 1840. Why don't they argue back all the way
to the dinosaurs? In other words, since dinosaurs were here first, none
of us are entitled to the land!Fact is; we should ALWAYS respect and
honor the laws that are in place at the time of our occupation.Thats
something the amnesty advocates and law-breakers refuse to do.
"Rameumptoms" ... that's what a certain people in the Book of
Mormon called the platform upon which they would stand and declare their
misguided entitlements and beliefs that their current successful circumstances
were surely marks of approbation by a God who loved them much more than those
others who were less materially successful.So many of these
anti-immigration comments regarding this article remind me of those who stood
upon rameumptoms!Our current, byzantine and broken immigration
system is a relatively new problem in our nation. For our first 100 years we
didn't criminalize peaceful immigration and establish arbitrary quotas on
who was welcome - and who was not. Further, even if someone insists on
prosecuting our current flawed "documentation" laws to their fullest
extent, it doesn't help me understand all the racism and scapegoating and
bad information promulgated by those who irrationally fear immigrants.During our recent decades of passing these new, arbitrary limits on
immigration we've successively targeted any population that politicians
could demonize: the Chinese, the Italians, the Irish, the Catholics in general,
etc.The truth of the matter: our founders faced no arbitrary limits
- and waves of immigration creates jobs instead of using them up.
@CA Granny"because it seems to focus on giving all of them a free pass
or giving none of them anything"A 13 year process involving
paying fines, back taxes, and going through other measures is not exactly a free
pass and is what the senate passed.
cjb, Mexico was not in control of the land when the pioneers came. We were still
at war with them in Mexico and New Mexico. Unless we declare the 11 million here
as invaders and fight them with our military, there is no similarity. Irony Guy, I will forever be stunned at the animosity shown toward Americans
who have lost jobs, had id theft, social security fraud, etc. by those here
illegally and our dishonest businessmen. Americans are not against immigration,
we allow more people legally now, than any other time in history. We are against
those who show animosity towards this country and it's people.DougB, Comparing laws two hundred years apart? (founding fathers). Our laws
are not being enforced, it's not the laws, but enforcement is broken. atl134, they pay no back taxes under s744. Once they apply for residency
they start paying taxes, and are responsible from then on. The fines they pay go
into a trust fund that is paid back to them in help for applying for
citizenship. Other measures? Legal immigrants go through much more, it's a
Re: "Like the early residents, perhaps we should welcome them rather than
just complain about their legal status."The Prof is, of course,
attempting to invoke that well-worn, liberal, victimization-industry trick of
invoking our ancestor's actions as a basis for modern guilt. And, like
many, many liberals before him, he suggests we should channel that underserved
guilt into winking at modern lawbreaking, destroying the Rule of Law in
America.The better, more honest inferences to be drawn from
Utah's earlier uncontrolled immigration, however, center about the effect
on pre-existing peoples, cultures, and civilization.Early Native
Americans simply did NOT fare well, when confronted by uncontrolled immigration.
Their cultures were diluted and destroyed. The were nearly wiped out, as a
people. And their destiny was placed in the hands of strangers.That's the real legacy the callow Prof and his buddies in the mindless
liberal, open-borders crowd would guilt us into embracing.
Richard Davis, the head of the Democratic party in Utah? I think that should be
in his by line.
‘Richard Davis: Today's immigrants resemble earlier
pioneers’====Agreed.They were mostly
extremely poor, poorly educated, Democrats, New to America,didn't speak English, practiced unorthodox marriages, lived
Socialistic, extremely supportive of education, had universal
healthcare and extensive welfare programs, pushed for equal rights for
everyone [including blacks and women], and even financed immigration.IMHO - Today's Mormon Republicans couldn't be more different.