Never mind having a bridge to sell. Mexico has a couple of U.S. states it wants to sell us. Actually, it wants to barter. The Mexicans will trade us the states of Texas and California, which it insists it owns, in exchange for the U.S. granting instant citizenship to millions of Mexicans and their heirs — in perpetuity.
If you think this is a joke, you’re right. But that hasn’t prevented the New York Times from publishing an op-ed by self-styled Mexican historian Enrique Krauze arguing that Mexico has a rightful claim to those two states as well as parts of Arizona and New Mexico.
In fairness to Krauze, he is willing to settle for half the territory the U.S. forced Mexico into ceding as one condition of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which he is looking to nullify in any case. The treaty was entered into by the U.S. and Mexico in 1848, ending the Mexican-American War (or, in Krauze’s preferred formulation, “the United States invasion of Mexico”).
He was spurred to action, he tells us, Donald Trump’s pulling the Band-Aid off an old and painful wound:
The United States invasion of Mexico in 1846 inflicted a painful wound that, in the 170 years that followed, turned into a scar. Donald Trump has torn it open again….
… [S]ome Mexicans are proposing to remind Mr. Trump exactly what country was the first victim of American imperialism. They are calling for a lawsuit that would aim to nullify the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (signed on Feb. 2, 1848), in which Mexico — invaded by American soldiers, its capital occupied, its ports and customs stations seized — was forced to accept the American annexation of Texas and concede more than half the rest of Mexican territory, now including most of the states of Arizona, New Mexico and California….
For us Mexicans, this is the chance for a kind of reconquest. Surely not the physical reconquest of the territories that once were ours. Nor an indemnification that should have been much greater than the feeble amount of $15 million that the American government paid, in installments, for the stolen land. We need a reconquest of the memory of that war so prodigal in atrocities inspired by racial prejudices and greed for territorial gain.
But the best and most just reparation would be American immigration reform that could open the road to citizenship for the descendants of those Mexicans who suffered the unjust loss of half their territory.
This is extortion of the pettiest kind. Luckily, it is too silly for anyone to take seriously, except maybe The New York Times.