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The Wasatch Behind: Outfoxed by the point man

Sun Advocate reporter

"Utah really made the big time this week," Uncle Spud said as he peeked over his newspaper. "The President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, came to Salt lake City and spoke to the state legislature."

"What was that all about?" I asked.

"The man is brilliant," Uncle Spud said. "He's studying the experts."

"What are you talking about?"

"Who knows more about illegal immigration than the Mormons?" he asked. "In 1847 Brigham Young led thousands of Mormons across a wilderness to settle what was then a part of Mexico."

"I'm not sure I'm following this," I said.

"The Mormons were illegal aliens when they settled Utah," he smiled. "And now we are experiencing the Mormon migration in reverse. Instead of the Mormons going into Mexico, it's the Mexicans coming to the Mormons this time. Vicente Fox is the point man."

"What are you saying?" I asked.

"The Mormons took Utah from Mexico in 1847, and now the Mexicans are coming to take it back. Vicente Fox wants to be the Mexican Moses who reclaims the promised land. He's here to check it out."

"I think you had better wear your hat when you go out in the sun," I suggested. "There are several things you should consider about this.First of all, there were no Mexicans living anywhere in Utah when the Mormons showed up."

"That is true," he said. "But in 1847 Mexico claimed California, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Oregon, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. There might not have been any Mexicans living here, but Mexico claimed the land just the same."

"And we didn't steal the land from the Mexicans," I insisted. "The United States won it fair and square in the Mexican War of 1848."

"Yes, and the United States took Texas away from the Mexicans in 1836 when Davy Crockett and Merle Travis got plowed under at the Alamo," he said.

"So what makes you think the Mexicans are coming to take it all back?" I asked.

"There are some radical groups in Mexico and the U.S. who want to do just that," he said. "And they are gaining strength each year. Go to the internet and check out groups like MEChA (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan). Other groups like La Raza (The Race) and LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) are not quite as radical, but their goals are to maintain Latin culture, language, and unified political power within the United States," he said. "Some of their literature says that most of California has already been taken back by Mexicans, and it's just a matter of time before the whole American Southwest is controlled by them."

"Yikes," I said. "And where is Aztlan? You said MEChA is the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan. Is that a city in Mexico?"

"Not hardly," Uncle Spud responded. "Aztlan is the fabled homeland of the Aztecs. Tradition says that the Aztec Indians migrated to Mexico from a land far to the north. Aztlan is thought to have been somewhere in the American Southwest. In Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. MEChA's goal is to "liberate" Aztlan and return it to Mexican control. They want to move the Mexican border north to some where near Wyoming."

"This puts a completely different face on the illegal immigration issue," I said.

"You've got that right," he agreed. "By granting amnesty to millions of illegals, we might be embracing a Trojan Horse."

"But aren't you being a little paranoid and overreacting about all of this?" I asked.

"You can't be too careful about inviting another culture to share your food and your home," he said. "History is full of examples of people extending a helping hand to other people and then being overrun and dominated by them. The American Indians who greeted the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock comes to mind. The Hawaiian islanders who welcomed Captain Cook to paradise is another example. Just because we live in the age of Wal Mart and Disneyland doesn't mean it can't happen again."

"Were the Mormons ever granted amnesty for being illegal aliens in Mexico?" I asked.

"I don't think so," Uncle Spud said.

"That would have been a great question for Rod Decker to have asked Vicente Fox during a television interview," I giggled.

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