“Todos los Europeos son Illegals desde 1492”
(All Europeans Illegal since 1492)
—Handwritten sign carried by a street demonstrator, New York City, La Marcha, April 10, 2006
On January 7, 2006, the Minuteman Project held a National Day Laborer Site protest. Often, a day labor site is nothing more than a parking lot outside a building-materials store where the owner sees a business advantage to allowing illegal alien day laborers to stand around and wait for job offers.
At the day labor site in Rancho Cucamonga, the Minuteman Project videotaped an angry Mexican who came out into the street to shout insults. “Go back to Germany where you belong!” he shouted. “Stay in Germany! Get out of here!” Then, pointing demonstrably to the ground with his right index finger, he screamed, “This is Mexico! This is our land! Get out of here, racist pigs! Viva Saddam Hussein! Viva Cuba!”
Clearly, the illegal immigrants at the day labor center didn’t want to be identified, since they were planning to take jobs at below-minimum wages and not pay taxes. Yet, the claim that California is actually Mexico was not made lightly. For millions of Hispanics in the Unites States, and for millions more in Mexico, the assertion is made in deadly seriousness.
The Reconquista Movement Takes Hold
At its core, the claim of the Reconquista (“Reconquest”) movement is that the United States stole large sections of the southwestern United States from Mexico in the 1800s. Mexicans and other Hispanics making these claims seek to reconquer this territory by taking the land away from the United States and returning it to Mexico. The goal of the Reconquista is to “reconquer” these “lost” or “stolen” territories for “La Raza”—the race indigenous to Mexico.
How will the Reconquista be accomplished?