El Norte, then and again

americannationsLyrus Thomas, John Wesley Powell — American Nations, 261-262

Why there is no “Reconquista”.

There is not, however, any chance of Mexico’s annexing El Norte:  Nortenos on both sides of the present border would sooner break off from both countries and form their own republic.  After all, even the Mexican portion of El Norte is three times wealthier than Southern Mexico, where it is forced to export tax dollars.  As Harvard fellow Joan Enriquez has noted, there’s very little binding the region to Mexico City, which doesn’t provide it with technology, basic services, security, or a market for its products.  If El Norte’s Mexican sections — Baja California, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Tamaulipas — had their choice, Enriquez notes, they’d probably prefer some European Union – style relationship with the United States rather than to remain in Mexico; they have more in common with the American section of El Norte than they do with the rest of their own country.  “Southwest Chicanos and Norteno Mexicanos are becoming people again,” University of New Mexico Chicano Studies professor Charles Truxillo told the AP in 2000, adding that the creation of a separate state was inevitable.

…  … … And some terms of history on “why things are as they are” — page 290-291

El Norte experienced a profound agricultural labor shortage during the war as farm and railroad laborers migrated to better paying jobs at the new military plants.  The solution:  a wartime guest worker program by which 250,000 Mexican citizens were allowed into El Norte, setting the foundation for a far larger and less organized postwar program that would tip the balance of power back to nortenos a few decades later.

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