Saturday, December 29, 2007

Good Immigarant/Bad Immigrant?

I just read that Tom Tancredo, our most rabid anti immigrationist and most specifically the loudest anti illegal Mexican voice has just endorsed Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney, in his across the board, trying to be everything to every Republican has done his part to pander to the illegal Mexican immigration hysteria being milked for votes.
Here's some very interesting history......
Mitt Romneys father, George, who went on to become the two term Republican governor of Michigan in the 1960's was born in Mexico and was an illegal immigrant to boot!
George was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1907, the son of Gaskell Romney and Anna Amelia Pratt. The Romneys had lived in Mexico since 1884, when Miles Park Romney moved the family there from Utah.
Miles Romney was a Morman polygamist who realized that as Utah approached State Hood, the United States Government would not tolerate thte Mormon Polygamist communities there. The 1882 Edmunds Act stripped polygamists of their rights of US citizenship, denying them the riught to vote, serve on juries or hold office.
Like today's immigration raids, polygamists were hunted down and arrested. They were asked to leave the country or risk jail.
Miles chose to renounce his US Citizenship and move to Mexico with his multiple wives and children. At that time, many Mormons were leaving the American territory to establish Mormon colonies near the border. The Mexican government also had laws declaring polygamy illegal and the Mormon polygamists were coming into Mexico in direct violation of Mexican immigrattion law.
Utah became a state in 1895 and as part of it's conditions for Statehood, it passed a state constitution forbidding polygamy.
The Romneys stayed in Mexico and there are still descendants of the original line living there. Gaskell and Anna Romney left in 1912 , at the hieght of the Mexican Revolution, when the rebels menanced the Mormon settlements. Their Relative, Junius Romney was able to negotiate a safe passage for many of the Mormons who wanted to leave, including Gaskell, Anna and their infant son, George.
They entered the United States illegally as citizens of nebulous status of Mexico with no formalities or border searches and ended up settling in New Mexico.
For an illegal Mexican immigrant, George did pretty well for himself. He rose up through the hierarchy at GM and entered politics and became a very successful governor of Michigan and led the state through some it's most traumatic years.
Perhaps the family history gave George some of the personal tools and morality that guided him through the dark days of the Detroit Race Riots. He embraced the principle of Dr. Martin Luther King and as his last political gesture, opposed Richard Nixon for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1968, publically breaking with the Party to oppose the Vietnam War.
Perhaps it's more than just Tom Tancredo who needs to be reminded of the Romney family history.

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