The Wasatch Behind: Thinking of a 51st state
"Holy Cow," Uncle Spud sputtered as he put down his newspaper. "Did you see that big rally in Salt Lake last week in support of illegal immigration?"
"Yea, I saw it," I answered cautiously. "What about it?"
"Is this a great country, or what?" he said with a big smile. "Only in America would people dare to come here illegally, and then march down Main Street in broad daylight waving their foreign flags and telling us we had better get used to it. Do you have any idea what would happen to people from El Salvador if they did that in Mexico?"
"Things are tough in Mexico," I said. "They cross the border because they want a better life."
"I can sympathize with their situation," Uncle Spud said. "Things were tough in Ireland once. They called it the great potato famine. That's when a whole lot of leprechauns like me left the emerald isles and came to America."
"So you support the Mexican millions and their illegal immigration?" I asked.
"Not hardly," he mused. "We Irishmen came by the hundreds of thousands, but we came through Ellis Island. We came to the front door of America, knocked politely, and asked permission to enter. We signed in, got checked out, and got our shots."
"That's true," I said. "But the Atlantic Ocean was too wide to swim. I'll bet a whole lot of Irishmen would have entered illegally if it was just a river."
"Could be," he said. "I guess we'll never know. The thing that bothers me is that there are still hundreds of thousands of people waiting patiently at our front door while millions are sneaking in over the back fence. It is complete chaos, illegal, dangerous during the war on terror, and perfectly unfair to those who try to immigrate legally. By not stopping it, we make a mockery of our laws. Especially when we reward the lawbreakers by declaring amnesty every 20 years or so."
"So what can we do about the situation?" I asked.
"We've got to go to the root of the problem," he said. "Mexico is a rich country. There is enough for everyone there. The trouble is that only a small fraction of the people owns everything. The Mexican political, legal, and economic systems are rotten with corruption. That's why the Mexicans are coming here to make a living.
"So why is that our problem?" I asked. "If things are so bad in Mexico, why don't the Mexicans revolt and kick the rascals out?"
Uncle Spud rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Because all of the Mexicans are up here, stupid. Didn't you see the size of that rally in Salt Lake last week?"
"So what can we do?" I asked.
"We can annex Mexico and make it the fifty-first state," he said. "If all of the Mexicans are coming to America, we might as well make room for them."
"Are you out of your mind?" I said.
"It makes perfect sense," he insisted. "If they are coming to America anyway, why not take America to them. We could even declare war and then rebuild their country like we did for Germany and Japan."
"I like the statehood option best," I said.
"Me too," he smiled. "And I'll bet that if it were put to a vote, there are millions of Latinos and Anglos in the U.S. who would vote to annex Mexico. I'll bet there are millions in Mexico who would vote to be annexed too. What poor Mexican wouldn't want his hometown south of the border to be a part of the American dream?"
"I guess you've got a point," I said.
"And besides," he said. "Look at all the money we could save when we build that fence along our southern border. Our southern border with Mexico is 2000 miles long. If we annex Mexico, we can save a whole lot of money because Mexico is only about 100 miles wide down near Veracruz."
"But then we would have the El Salvadorians and the Guatemalans digging under the fence at Veracruz," I said.
"So let's annex all of Central America too," he said. "We could really save a lot of money if we put a fence across Panama. Panama is only about 40 miles wide down near the canal zone."