Immigration Monday: Inaugural Issue!
Volume #1, Monday July 2, 2007.

The foolish reject what they see; the wise reject what they think. –Zen Saying.

I didn’t set out to be any “voice of the border.” I didn’t set out to be an apologist of the Border Patrol, or a pinko agitator for the “illegals”—both things I have been accused of. Perhaps I’ll write to you about my personal border-journey…though, if you have read my books, you already know the story. True, I was born in Tijuana; my mom was American and my dad was Mexican. She was a retired Army Captain (an honorary rank given to Red Cross women in WWII to make sure the Axis would honor Geneva Convention protocols—something, of course, we no longer honor). He was a retired Army Captain, too—Mexican army. He was also a cop—Federal Judicial Police. Both were arch conservatives. I grew up on the border—both sides. I grew up speaking both languages. But I learned to read, did all my education, and voted in the US. I’m an American citizen. And I came into my adulthood working for the missionary crew of Pastor Von in the Tijuana orphanages and garbage dumps.

I have now written four non-fiction border books. I have come to think of them as the Border Project. Maybe, when I die, they’ll make an omnibus of the books under that title. These books are: Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border; By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border; Nobody’s Son: Notes on an American Life; and The Devil’s Highway. They have won some awards and attracted at least fifteen or twenty readers. The last one was a finalist for the Pulitzer—I have never gotten more attention for failing to win something in my life. I’ve been publishing border dispatches since 1990, and books since 1993.

In other words, I’ve been thinking about this problem too much for too long.

I had to learn to accept what I was seeing, and reject what I was thinking.

And I saw there was way too much INFLAMMATION in the media and politics, but precious little INFORMATION.

That made me want to post a little bit of immigration stuff on the blog. So here goes. I have various voices lining up to help me. I am not advocating an argument on either side of the debate. What I hate is hypocrites who know the score feigning outrage to get you pumped up and build ratings so they can buy fleets of Escalades while the middle class suffers and the desperate poor die in the desert. Who is arming you to make your own deci\sions? Nobody. Hence, I toss in my own thoughts, and invite writers, politicians, cops and poets to toss in theirs. Let’s see what happens.

We’ll start small.
Best, Luis


A Brief History of North American Immigration and the Mexican Border
A Timeline of Events and Legislations, Including Illuminating Diversions.

(By no means complete, or comprehensive—but should give an impression of the flows of population and culture, the historical events, and the political developments that have been features of the development of this country, that country, and their borders, since prehistory. Includes some odd data for comparison and contrast.)


Part One: From Pre-History to the Mid-19th Century (American Civil War).

50,000 BC Surf’s up! Neanderthals believed to appear on the west coast.

40,000 BC Great Ice Age ends.

The Bering land-bridge opens between Russia and Alaska.

38, 000 BC Hi, Mom! Homo sapiens appear.

36,000 BC Homo sapiens arrive in southern western hemisphere.

35,000 BC Earliest known (proven) evidence of human habitation of North America.

28,000 BC. Earliest known date for Indian settlements in California.

27,000 BC Earliest known Indian settlements in Alaska.

25,000 BC Sandia, Clovis, Folsom, Plano etc. peoples settle in New Mexico.

12,000 BC Native peoples have settled all unglaciated regions of North and South America.

10,500 BC “Cave men” party hearty in South America, hunting guanaco and native horses—which they hunt to extinction.

10,000 BC Mexico City area is settled.

10,000-7,000 BC The “little” Ice Age.

9,000 BC Mesopotamia founded.

8,000 BC Agriculture begins in Mexico.

5,500 BC Southern California settled by Encinitas Indians.

5,000 BC Corn first cultivated in Mexico.

4,000 BC Permanent settlement at the Koster Site in Illinois.

“Old Copper Culture” established around the Great Lakes.

3,500 BC Babylon founded.

3,372 BC Earliest date on the Mayan calendar.

3000 BC I’ll take a Biggie Fries with that. Potato appears: the Andes.

2,600 BC Great pyramids built in Egypt.

2,000 BC Corn (maize) become the staple crop of Mexico.
Mesoamericans also develop beans, legumes, chiles, avocado, gourds, squash, cocoa( chocolate), and cotton. Farther south, crops developed include sweet potatoes, tapioca, vanilla, peanuts, varieties of pepper.

1,500 BC Mexican crops are introduced to the American southwest.

1,200 BC Olmec culture in Mexico.

753 BC Rome founded.

750 BC Temple mounds built in Ohio Valley.

300 BC Hohokam people bring farming technology to Arizona.

100 BC Serpent Mound built in Ohio.

1 AD Teotihuacan, Mexico, flourishing—50,000 population, pyramids, temples.

100 AD Mesoamericans migrate north; North American tribes migrate south—trade.

292 AD Classical Maya civilization emerges.

400 AD Anasazi culture appears in Four Corners area (AZ, NM, UT, CO).

500 AD Hohokam introduce ball courts (possibly inspired by Mesoamericans) to North America.

600 AD Chichén Itza founded.

650 AD The city of Palenque founded.

700 AD Teotihuacan, Mexico, sixth largest city in the world—pop. 200,000.

900-1250 AD Mississippian culture at its peak. Cahokia (East St. Louis), Illinois.

918 AD Pueblo Indian architects invent the roof-beam.

986 AD Bjarni Herjulfson “discovers” America.

1000 AD Leif Ericson, son of Eric the Red, explores America.

1004 AD Thorvald and Thorstein Ericson explore America.

1010 AD Thorfinn Karlsevni explores America.

1014 AD Freydis, Eric’s daughter, is the last Norse explorer to America.

1225 AD (Approximately). The Mexica (Aztecs) leave their homeland of Aztlán in North America in search of their new home. They seek a place with an eagle eating a serpent upon a cactus. They walk for 100 years.
“Aztlán” (the Place of the Reeds) is thought to be in the American southwest.

1325 AD Founding of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City).

1390 AD Founding of the League of Handenosaunee (The Iroquois Federation).

1478 AD The Inquisition is launched, in Spain.

1492 AD Arawak (Taino) Indians rescue Columbus’s sailors when Santa Maria runs aground.

1492 AD October 12—Christopher Columbus “discovers” America.

1495 AD Disease sweeps the American islands and devastates Indian populations.

1503 AD Abenaki and Passamaquoddy Indians of Maine begin trade with England.

1506 AD Huron and Iroquis in Canada begin trade with French.

1508-1511 AD Carib Indians exterminated in West Indies. Hundreds of thousands of the Arawaks (Tainos) are also killed, effectively erasing their culture.

1511 AD First debates on whether Indians are human or non-human, launched by Fr. Antonio de Montesinos and Fr. Bartolome de las Casas. Spain.

Cortez arrives in Cuba.

Jeronimo de Aguilar, priest, shipwrecked in Mexico.

1516 AD First epidemic recorded in America—small pox from Europe.

1518 AD Cortés (Cortez) in Mexico.
Takes slave/translator, Marina. Known as Malinche.
Their son, Malin, is the first official mestizo, or modern Mexican.

1520 AD Chocolate first arrives in Spain from Mexico.

1523-1841 AD New Spain—territories between and below San Francisco, California, Taos, New Mexico and Charlotte, South Carolina.

1528 AD Myth of Seven Cities of Gold ignites Spanish expeditions into North America.

1531 AD The Virgin of Guadalupe appears to an Indian named Juan Diego in Mexico City.

Yaqui Indians beat the Spanish conquistadors in their first encounter in what is now the border region.

1539 AD De Soto tries to invade Florida (and what would become the American Deep South). Indians defeat him. The attempts to make Florida a Spanish colony have been thwarted repeatedly for years and will continue for

1540 AD Coronado sent by Spain to explore the American southwest in search of the Seven Cities of Gold (Cibola).

1541 AD DeSoto reaches the Mississippi River.

January 18—Melchior Díaz, first white European known to die in the Camino del Diablo region of the Mexico/Arizona border.

The first newspaper in the Americas is published in Mexico City.

1542 AD Cabrillo explores the coast of California.

1551 AD Charles V founds first university in Mexico.

Sacred gold objects from Mexico tour Europe, then are melted down to make money.

1555 AD Tobacco, from the Americas, reaches Europe for the first time.

1562 AD 140 French Huguenot Protestants settle in South Carolina.

1565 AD St. Augustine, Florida, founded by the Spanish.

1571 AD Spanish Inquisition arrives in Mexico.

1579 AD Sir Francis Drake arrives in Northern California.

1587 AD The English are first given corn by Indians in North Carolina.

Virginia Dare, first white American born on Roanoke Island.

1590 AD Settlers of Roanoke vanish without a trace.

1596 AD Tomatoes from the Americas first introduced to England.

1600 AD Juan Oñate colonizes New Mexico for Spain.

1603 AD Samuel de Champlain explores Eastern Canada and Maine.

1607 AD Jamestown founded.

1609 AD Santa Fe becomes capital of New Spain.

1619 AD First African slaves arrive in Jamestown, Virginia.

First colonial legislature, the House of Burgesses, opens in Jamestown.

1620 AD Mayflower arrives with 120 Pilgrims.

Plymouth founded.

1621-69 AD 40,000 English immigrants arrive in New England.

1630 AD Boston founded.

1638 AD Puritans create first Indian “reservation” in Connecticut.

Finnish and Swedish immigrants found what is to become Wilmington, Delaware.

1641 AD Spanish Civil War in New Mexico.

1650 AD Apache war with Spain.

1654 AD Jewish immigrants arrive from Brazil to New Amsterdam. They are not allowed to build a synagogue, and they are not allowed to worship in public.

1658 AD Jews first arrive in Rhode Island.

1677 AD French Huguenots settle in New York state.

1680 AD Pueblo Indian rebellion throws Spanish out of New Mexico.

1682 AD Welsh, Irish, English Quakers and German Quakers settle Pennsylvania.

1692 AD Spanish re-conquer Pueblos, re-establish Santa Fe.

1699 AD Spain makes Florida a haven for runaway slaves.

1718 AD San Antonio founded.
New Orleans founded.

1731 AD FIRST IMMIGRATION LAW: English factory workers prohibited from emigrating to America.

1755 AD Acadian Expulsion Act: the British order Acadians to leave their adopted homes in Canada. (See 1784.)

1763 AD Sir Jeffrey Amherst, namesake of Amherst, Massachusetts, creates bio-warfare when he intentionally gives smallpox-infected blankets to Indian villages to kill off the populations and open territory.

1768 AD Greek and Minorcan immigrants settle east Florida.

1769 AD First Spanish mission in California—San Diego.

1773 AD American border wars—Kentucky.

1775 AD American Revolution begins.

1776 AD July 4—Declaration of Independence.

San Francisco, CA, founded.

“Most reports state that the very first Rattus norvegicus [brown rat] arrived in America in the first year of the Revolution….” Robert Sullivan, Rats.

1778 AD First Indian treaty signed.

1781 AD Hooray for Hollywood: Los Angeles founded.

1782 AD French visitor de Crevecouer invents the concept of “The Melting Pot”: “Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men.”

1784 AD The British deport all Acadians from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Maine and Louisiana. Cajun culture is born.

1786-92 AD Russia conquers Alaska.

1788 AD American constitution ratified.

1789-1850 AD United States takes 450 million acres of land from American Indians.

Less than 50% of population is English.
20% African; 15% Irish or Scottish; 7% German. Other ethnicities make up the remainder.

Wars in Europe suppress immigration; still, 300,000 new immigrants arrive between 1790 and 1820.

1791-98 AD Slave rebellion in Haiti.

1793 AD Samuel Slater earns his place in Hell, and sets the course of immigrants’ lives forever, by introducing child labor to America via his cotton mills—“hiring” poor and immigrant children because “their hands are smaller.”

1795 AD Naturalization Act: to join the colonies as a citizen, you must reside in the Americas for five years.

1799 AD Alien and Sedition Acts. Residency is upped to 14 years. The president is given power to deport aliens during peace time.

1801 AD Spain gives Louisiana to France.

1803 AD Napoleon sells Louisiana to US for $15 million: The Louisiana Purchase.
43,000 people join the United States—mostly French. Only 6,000 claim to be Americans. “Assimilation” concerns still evident today gain traction.

1810 AD Mexican War of Independence.

1819 AD 3,000 Irish workers arrive to build the Erie canal.

1820’s The Napoleonic Wars end—immigration spikes from Europe. 150,000 immigrants arrive. Irish, German, English, Scandinavian.

1821 AD Mexico declares independence from Spain on February 24; throws in California and Texas for good measure. Viva Iturbide!

1822 AD NYC: pop. 124,000.

1825 AD First organized Norwegian immigrant group arrives in America .

1829 AD Those bleeding heart liberal communists in Mexico abolish slavery.

1830 AD Mexico passes a law forbidding further immigration to Texas—North American illegal aliens ignore the law.

1833 AD Doing their part to try to lower the planet’s population, Germans invent the diaphragm.

1836 AD 75% of working Americans are engaged in agriculture, a drop (from 83%) since the good ol’ days of 1820.

1849 AD California Gold Rush.
Attracts Chinese immigrants.

1850 AD United States population: 23.5 million; 3.2 million are slaves; 2.2 million are immigrants.

1854 AD 13,000 Chinese emigrate to the United States.

Anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic political party, aptly named the Know Nothing Party, wins many seats in elections.

1859 AD Juan Cortina leads Mexicans in Texas in a revolt to combat oppression and violence toward his people.

1860 AD Mexican Indian Wars flare up all along the US border.

Lincoln elected president of the United States.


Next week: The Timeline, Part Two. And don’t miss the Border Patrol. Ay, Caramba—es la Migra! By Warrior. See you then.

Adios, Amigos!

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