Jerry Patterson draws completely wrong lesson from Texas history (Land Commissioner, immigration)
Jerry Patterson is a Republican, the Land Commissioner of Texas, a likely candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and involved with the "Texas solution" to immigration. He's currently touring Texas promoting massive immigration and a guest worker program.
And, he's doing that in part by drawing the completely wrong lesson from Texas' history.
Around 1830, Texas was still property of the Mexican government and they'd passed a very strict immigration law. But (link):
"The Mexican government was very lax. It allowed to let things get out of hand," said Jesus F. de la Teja, director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University. "Since the colonists had gotten a pretty good chunk of the loaf, they wanted the whole thing."
Their stories can be found among thousands of yellowing documents at the Land Office, where Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson... gains inspiration for his moderate views on immigration reform.
Long before President Obama’s re-election... Patterson used Texas history to promote a softer and more nuanced view of what to do with people who have come here without work papers.
At Republican clubs around the state, he tells them that the first immigrants were white Americans - and that many of them were here illegally.
"We have a long tradition of immigration and illegal immigration, and the first illegals were folks who look a lot more like me than they did some native Tejano," Patterson said. The commissioner, who favors an international guest-worker program, said all the issues that divide many Texans and Mexicans today - such as amnesty, cultural and linguistic assimilation, and deportation - divided them back then. But their roles are now reversed.
"The simplistic bumper sticker immigration policy is not in the best interest of the United States and we have a history that proves up that absolutes don’t necessarily work," Patterson said.
Obviously, the lesson to be learned is to avoid giving "colonists" "a pretty good chunk of the loaf", lest they want "the whole thing". Patterson would give "colonists" as much of the loaf as they want. If you support Texas remaining in U.S. hands and free of influence by the aggressive Mexican government, then Patterson wants to go in the wrong direction and he's on the other side.
Note also that Patterson is trying to play on guilt and doing so illogically: your ancestors were illegal aliens, thus you must allow anyone to come here at will. That flies in the face of how any association works: members of a group must be allowed to decide who can join their group and forbid those from joining who won't serve the group's interest.
As for the article by Jay Root of the Texas Tribune, Patterson's stance is hardly "moderate": legalization millions of illegal aliens is a radical plan that will have far-reaching consequences for public safety, spending, and sovereignty.
Please take a moment and let @Patterson4TX and @byjayroot know what you think.