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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Illegal immigration...

What is illegal immigration? This is a great question especially from someone who is American Indian. Immigration is defined as "the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country." Illegal is defined as "Contrary to or forbidden by law." And finally law is defined as, "The system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of it's members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties."

No where in that definition is there a specification that a law must be written down. So this means that when European explorers "discovered" North America, (not it's original name) there was already a system of laws in place that governed the people who were already here, and had been here for many centuries. The European explorers wrote in their journals about shimmering fields of corn in neat rows surrounded by beans and squash. Neatly arranged villages, and forests of park-like qualities where game abounded. They described networks of trails tended and easily traveled that connected villages and even larger settlements that could be considered cities. A confederacy in the east of tribes together for the greater good of all of them. Other alliances scattered about the continent. None had a written law, unless you consider a wampum belt to be writing. Under the formal definition it isn't writing, but it does qualify as a record of transaction and treaty, recorded in symbols and structure.

And so they came The first wave of Vikings hopscotching across the north Atlantic and building settlements in northern Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. They didn't last. The Chinese sailors making it across the Pacific Ocean and following the coast down from the Bering Sea. They didn't stay. The Spanish wave began by Columbus supported by the Spanish crown and the Roman Catholic Church. Columbus got lost on his way to India, and bumped into Hispanola. (unfortunately the true name of the island is lost to history thanks to the disease ridden European sailors) But upon his return to Spain he set off the true loss of paradise. And that is where the story really takes a turn. The Spanish brought the Conquistidors back with them to make their way across the continent and hunt for treasure. When they encountered native settlements they often killed the leaders and demanded ransom before they would leave. The vermin traveling with them would be spreading disease in their wake, and within a decade of the arrival the population of the mainland was almost halved. It took a generation for the natural immunities to begin to take hold and to stabilize the losses suffered simply from disease.

To add insult to injury, the European explorers were also accompanied by Catholic Missionaries, who were bent on converting as many as possible, and by any means necessary. This included torture, and bribery. When they could get a few converts they could soon divide villages that had stood united for a millenia of generations. How can they not see that something they were doing was so wrong? Because this has been their life in Europe, divide and conquer, but the natives would not be conquered so easily. As the Spanish worked on the south, the Dutch, French, and English worked in the northern regions.

The northern Indians heard stories from the southern reaches of invaders, so they were cautious when the first sailing ships arrived at their shores. In the mid-Atlantic region they made a peace with the newly arrived settlers and made agreements with them as to what they would allow and where the newcomers were allowed to go. They were allowed to stay as long as they stayed withing their bounderies, and kept their villages small. We know that this didn't happen. So the true storm began, and as 3 centuries rolled by the eastern seaboard and inland began to get crowded with people.

The land now "owned" by the European Colonists is still contested by the Indians, and they contest this by killing settlers. The penalties by their laws for invasion of tribal lands. Never was a treaty honestly rendered or enforced by the white "authorities". Given limits the white settlers immediately broke them, and wrote home to get more to come since the land was "free" for the taking. Murder is murder and stealing is stealing. Calling it Manifest Destiny doesn't make it right. I realize that most of the world has been settled this way. I have to admit that I think of Israel as the white settlers to the Palestinian Indians. I truly don't believe that Israel is always right. I can say this because my people have been subject to Genocide as well, but ours has been constantly reenacted in cowboy movies for the last 75 years. But I digress...

So here we are into the 21st century, and the cry by the white power structure in America is to reduce "illegal immigration". Illegal immigration is a matter of perspective. It has been genetically proven that most of the Spanish speaking "illegals" are more aboriginal than European, and as such should have aboriginal border rights similar to the border rights allowed the Canadian First Nations. As a member of a Canadian band and American band, I have the right to cross the border at any time and in fact there are places where I can cross the border completely unaccosted by border agents or customs officials. The same rights should be afforded to those who are south of the American border.

Now the real kicker is this, recent data gathered in California and Texas show that because of the falling economic outlook and labor market, more of these "illegals" are headed home to Mexico and points south.

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