Were they targeting the Texas capitol after all? Sworn testimony claims immigration officials wanted retribution, we’ll explore. Also after grilling the FBI director on Russian ties to Donald Trump, congressman Joaquin Castro tells us whether he sees evidence of collusion. Also …She might be the youngest unofficial lobbyist in Texas: her mission: convincing lawmakers to change a law she believes, sends innocent people to death row. We’ll hear her story. And this month’s reading recommendation from the editor in chief of Kirkus: a book the author doesn’t doesn’t want you to love. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:
Did Texas Republicans draw up districts intentionally to dilute minority voting strength? A federal court says yes: now what? It used to be known as the spinach capitol of the world. These days, it’s famous as the city where nearly every top official was charged with corruption. Crystal City: one year later. Also: it’s part of the lure of Texas: affordable homes. Maybe not so much anymore? A new warning from the Dallas Fed. Plus the top ten places for bibliophiles? A Texas road map for readers…all that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:
This was the situation: the new immigrants to Texas were becoming quite a problem. They were coming across the river in droves. Some were legal and some were undocumented. Some were living on land they had legally acquired and some were squatters, living on land that belonged to others. The legal immigrants were being followed by family members who were arriving without proper papers. The government was frustrated and trying desperately to come up with a solution.
Many were good people, hard workers. But as a group, they would mostly keep to themselves. They wouldn’t assimilate. They wouldn’t acculturate. They refused to learn the language. Most were of a different religion from that which was most common in their new country.
There was talk of posting the military all along the river. The borders and immigration laws needed to be enforced. The government passed a law prohibiting all new immigration to Texas from the neighboring republic.
The military was in fact sent to ports of entry to turn back those without proper documents, and though the trend slowed, illegal immigration continued at a worrisome pace.
Sound familiar? These issues were being discussed in Texas almost 200 years ago.
The years I’m talking about here were the 1820’s and early 1830’s, before the battle of the Alamo, before the battle of San Jacinto.
The immigrants were not Mexican, but rather, Anglo Texans coming in from Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and other southern states. The river the immigrants were crossing was not the Rio Grande, but the Sabine, the border between Texas and Louisiana. The concerned government was not in Austin but in Mexico City. Texas, of course, belonged to Mexico at the time. The military they wanted to put on the eastern border was the Mexican Army. They didn’t do it, but they did place small military contingents at ports of entry along the coast.
The language the immigrants would not learn was Spanish. That was part of the deal. If they got cheap land, they agreed to become Mexican citizens and learn Spanish. Most did not.
The religion they would not embrace was Catholicism, even though that was part of the deal, too. As Mexican citizens, they were supposed to become Catholic. Most did not. Priests lived among them, but there was little effort to enforce that requirement. Culture and religion, after all, are far better anchored than laws.
It is surprising to see how trends, in some ways, have reversed themselves over a couple of centuries. I’m not interested in getting into the high weeds of politics here. I’ll leave the cautionary tales to others. But I do find this a good illustration of a historical adage coined by Twain and affirmed by Churchill:
“History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Echoes of 2014? A surge of unaccompanied kids and families crossing the Rio Grande…sparks new concerns for the summer. Also Texas and 10 others states take on the Obama administration, again, but at what cost to taxpayers? You’ve heard of shareholder activism—how’s that working for environmentalists trying to change Exxon Mobil? A view from the inside. And back in the news—but not for all the wrong reasons—as Waco finds its mojo. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
Shades of the sixties- protests on campus -a university president forced out… But has a crackdown on hate speech taken it too far? Possible lessons for Texas from the Missouri shakeup: reconsidering the power of college football players. Also, a mass repatriation of undocumented immigrants—unrealistic? Last night in the debates the republican front runner said: it worked for Eisenhower…We’ll do a reality check. Also Governor Abbott’s disappointed the only state purchasing more guns than Texas is California…come again? All of those stories and much more on today’s Texas Standard:
Millions of Texas children are back to school today – but some kids who are u-s citizens can’t get in because their parents entered the country illegally. The legal fight over birth certificates for the children of undocumented immigrants. Plus, women’s equality day is this week- how much less are women earning for doing the same work as men in Texas? Also, there are concerns that San Antonio’s airport could be losing its competitive edge to austin. We’ll take a ride-a-long with a school bus driver….. and world class Texas photographer Eli Reed tells us about the long walk home. This is the Texas Standard: