Pine Nuts: I should be carrying a green card |

Pine Nuts: I should be carrying a green card

Being a dedicated historian where facts are not essential, I traveled to Cabo San Lucas last week to do a little research, and come to find out, by all rights I ought to be carrying a green card and asking for Dreamer Protection.

Let me tell you why. First we have to back up to the purchase of Manhattan Island in 1626 for 60 gilders. Our Native Americans were the sellers, and boy, did they get the short end of that stick. Over the next few centuries several other treaties were signed by our Native Americans that were equally nefarious, and we are still trying to make those swindles “whole.”

Then along came the Mexican war of 1846, which resulted in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, providing U.S. acquisition of 525,000 square miles of what we now call Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. Remuneration? Fifteen million dollars to Mexico. Does that sound fair to you? Me neither. Mexican-Americans did not burst their piñatas upon signing that treaty, nor will they burst their piñatas this year upon the anniversary of that treaty.

A reputable attorney, whose name shall remain a secret between me and my maker, maintains the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo is flawed and not worth the paper it’s written on. Article 10 of that treaty, the article guaranteeing protection of Mexican land grants, was deleted by the U.S. Senate before ratification. Federal legislation and judicial opinions that followed resulted in the dispossession of Mexican-American landholders and enrichment of the newly minted eminent domain landlords. And so, guess what? All that land acquired by the U.S. rightfully belongs to Mexico. This moral veracity is concealed beneath a pile of calcified antiquity and might never be resolved. But wait, there’s more …

The Mexicans stole every acre of that land from Native Americans, so the Mexicans had no legal right to that land in the first place. The United States should have given that $15 million to our Native Americans, who should in turn be issuing my green card today. Check my math, but $15 million in 1848 would be worth about $477 million in today’s dollars. Add to that the interest, and you come up with $48 billion — or trillion, I never was good at math.

So where do we go from here? Well, we are a nation of laws, including common law rights. In several of our states, couples who cohabitate for seven years are considered married by common law. I would humbly propose that if an illegal immigrant can show a clean work record of seven years, that immigrant deserves a work permit, and should be eligible, providing his record is clean, to apply for citizenship. This is the first thing we should be looking at once our government gets over its next round of tribal cage fighting.

And when that happens, let us show the magnanimity that has always been a part of our identity.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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