Economic migration has been with us since the dawn of mankind. The earliest tribes of hunter gatherers were economic migrants and many was the time they crossed into another tribes territory in search of food, only to be met with great hostility. The American colonists who settled in Texas at the beginning of the 19th century were economic migrants. They didn’t go to Texas for the weather, but in search of cheap land. It’s amazing so few people remember that the American southwest was stolen from Mexico largely to offer greater land access to U.S. economic migrants. What do we think all those folks were doing during the 19th century when they traveled west in great wagon trains?
|scene from the Texas territory|
Now, right here in Virginia, based on Attorney General Cuccinelli’s legal opinion, all of us will be required to carry papers proving we are in the U. S. legally. This opinion, in my opinion, is directed squarely at the Hispanic community. “Where are your papers” is a line from a bad World War Two movie, not something a Virginia state trooper should be asking anyone when they make a traffic stop.
Finding a solution to the immigration question is a difficult task that will require compromise on all sides. We can’t round up twelve million people, and who knows what the effect on our economy and country would be if all those hard working folks just up and left. We have to dig deep and find compromises we can live with. Blaming our current troubles on the latest group of people to reach our shores looking for a better life is a losing proposition and destined to hurt us without solving the question.
-- Larry Stopper lives in Afton. He is a third-generation American and a proud, first-generation Virginian
* calls to Mr. Cuccinelli's political office and the office of the Attorney General asking for this information were not returned.