More Misinformation from the Media:
The United States invasion of Mexico in 1846 inflicted a painful wound that, in the past 170 years, turned into a scar. . . [There is] the need to nourish a debate on the true history of a war the United States has conveniently forgotten or camouflaged and which now, more than ever, should be honestly remembered as it was. It’s a matter of an enormous crime, which leads to a question: how much prosperity of the United States stems from the development of territories originally inhabited by Mexicans and ripped away from Mexico through an invasion and a war of territorial conquest. – Will Mexico Get Half of Its Territory Back?, The Opinion Pages, The New York Times, Enrique Kruse.
But the best and most just reparation would be American immigration reform that could open the road to citizenship for the descendants of those Mexicans who suffered the unjust loss of half their territory.
Fact Check: This article by Mexican Enrique Krauze basically maintains that the United States owes Mexico a tremendous debt for the alleged injustice of the Mexican War. And to help pay off that debt, Kruse recommends that the United States grant amnesty to illegal aliens from Mexico.
Krause relies on the false historical narrative that the Big Bully, the United States, picked a war with poor defenseless Mexico in order to seal her territory. A good corrective to this narrative is Blood Over Texas by Stanford H. Montalgne.
After Mexico won her war of independence from Spain in 1821, the Mexicans laid claim to the territories north of the Rio Grande formerly claimed by Spain. This was sparsely-inhabited land where more Indians lived than Hispanic people, and many of the latter had little sense of identity with the new country of Mexico.
The Mexican government want to populate the territory of what became Texas, but few of their people wanted to go there for fear of Indians. As a solution the Mexican government invited Americans to come in and settle. To entice them it offered them various freedoms and rights. Many Americans took them up on the offer.
Things went well until the Mexican dictator Santa Anna came to power. He revoked the rights previously granted the Texans, both Anglo and Hispanic, which caused them to revolt. Acting as a bully, Santa Anna led an army north to crush them. But the Texans managed to defeat his forces and gain their independence. That was in 1836, and nine years later Texas opted to join the United States.
These events set the stage for the Mexican-American War. Still smarting from their defeat in Texas, the Mexicans looked for revenge. They wanted war, and they believed they could win it. One reason was that their regular army was significantly larger than the American regular army and more combat experienced. Also they believed that impending conflict between the U.S. and Great Britain would divide American forces.
There was a clash on the border. War followed, and it did not go well for Mexico. At the end of the conflict, the Mexicans ceded their claim to territories west of Texas to the coast of California. Many of the inhabitants, particularly California were happy to be rid of Mexican misrule. As part of the treaty ending the war Mexico accepted $15 million from the U.S. With that payment—which the Mexicans could have refused on principle—Mexico relinquished any claim to the northern territories.
The claim that Mexico would be better off economically today if it had those territories is belied by the fact that much land in Mexico is just as rich in resources as those northern lands. The poverty of Mexico stems from authoritarian rule and a culture of corruption, rather than a lack of resources.
Mexican elites prefer this status quo, and to prevent revolutionary pressures from changing it, they promote the movement of their poor people to the United States in defiance of our immigration laws. One those elites is multi-billionaire Carlos Slim. By interesting coincidence, Slim is the top shareholder of The New York Times. Could this be one reason why the Times runs blatant Mexican propaganda like the article by Mr. Kruse?