The USA as it is today includes large parts of territory which it gained from Mexico after its victory in the Mexican-American war.Under the terms of the the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo America gained what are now California,Utah,Nevada and parts of Colorado,Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Over the years US -Mexican relations have improved tremendously and with the establishment of NAFTA the US has demonstrated that it remains committed to the well being and the prosperity of the Mexican people.
However the one sore point in US-Mexican relations remains the issue of illegal immigration from Mexico into the US.
Large scale immigration from Mexico into the US is a recent phenomena.Till 1970 the number of Mexican immigrants in the US was only about 700,000 as against an estimated 7 million today.Mexican immigration is overwhelmingly unskilled,and it tends to reduce wages for workers who are already the lowest paid.Besides such immigration comes with a high cost.The modern US economy offers little opportunity for workers with limited education.Such immigration will only help in significantly increasing the size of the poor and uninsured populations as well as the number of people using welfare.
It is estimated that today there are 9 to 10 million illegal immigrants in the US.The vast majority, almost 70% of them are from Mexico.The US has more than tripled its border patrol budget over the last few years but the flow of immigrants from Mexico remains unchanged.
This large number of Mexicans in the US has led to the birth of a strong pro immigration movement in Mexico.It is openly supported by the Mexican government which calls for 'legalizing aliens.'On the far fringes of this movement some Hispanic activists openly yearn for the day when immigrants will rise up and retake the US Southwest.They call it the 'reconquista' or reconquest of Mexican lands.One only has to look at their slogans to understand what they think."We are Nican Tlaca ,the indigenous people of Canada,US.Mexico and Central America.We reject the European divisions of our continent.We reject the artificial divisions of our people.We say no to occupation.We say this is still our continent"
The theory of Mexican re-occupation of its lost territories doesn't look so ridiculous if one were to examine the demographic trends in the Southwest.In another 20 to 30 years Latinos will comprise more than 50% of the population in California.This fact and other social and cultural developments are opening the door for 'self determination'and even the idea of an 'Aztalan.' Aztalan the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs, is regarded in Chicano folklore as an area that includes California,Nevada,Arizona New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas.The aim is to create a sovereign state, "Republica del Norte,' the Republic of the North, that would combine the American Southwest with the Northern Mexican states and eventually merge with Mexico.
Although there is little evidence of any plot so far, it is quite possible that the pro immigration movement is being gradually taken over by the radicals.