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, George Romney, was born in Colonia Dublán, Galeana, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
George Romney, father of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
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 cities.
Mitt's campaign is mailing Iowa Republicans a 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, 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 Mexico.
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."
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 federal government.
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.