23rd February 1847: American army general Zachary Taylor (1784 – 1850), directing his troops at the Battle of Buena Vista in Northern Mexico during the Mexican-American war. A Mexican historian now claims that Donald Trump should grant citizenship to all illegal immigrants as reparations for damages caused by that war. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A Mexican man who claims to be a historian recently wrote in the New York Times that his country maintains a claim to the land taken during the 19th century Mexican-American war and now it’s time for President Donald Trump to pay up.
Following the end of the war in 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave the U.S. the territories of California and Texas, as well as parts of Arizona and New Mexico. But according Enrique Krauze, Mexico is owed those territories from its “unjust lost,” which Trump has rehashed.
“The United States invasion of Mexico in 1846 inflicted a painful wound that, in the 170 years that followed, turned into a scar. Donald Trump has torn it open again,” Krauze wrote.
“Among the many lies that he has constructed, none is more ridiculous than his attempt to contradict history by presenting the United States as a victim of Mexico, a country that supposedly steals jobs, imposes onerous treaties and sends its ‘bad hombres’ across the border,” he explained
To fix the “fake history,” Krauze wrote that many Mexicans are pressuring their government to sue the U.S. over claims that the territories taken in the mid-19th century still belong to Mexico.
However, Krauze conceded that after speaking to a lawyer, it would be a long shot given that Mexico barely has any legal grounds to claim the land is still theirs more than 150 years after the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty was signed.
But the public impact of such a lawsuit could certainly hurt Trump, Krauze said.
“[The] initiative may have little chance of succeeding legally, but its public impact could be considerable at a time when Mexico is being attacked unjustly by President Trump,” he wrote.
“For us Mexicans, this is the chance for a kind of reconquest,” Krauze explained. “We need a reconquest of the memory of that war so prodigal in atrocities inspired by racial prejudices and greed for territorial gain.”
His suggestion: “Open the road to citizenship for the descendants of those Mexicans who suffered the unjust loss of half their territory.”
According to Krauze, immigration reform via amnesty would be the “best and most just reparation.” It is not clear how providing Mexican citizens with a path to United States citizenship would in any way compensate the country of Mexico for the territory allegedly lost, however.