The US's contested borders

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An important addition needs to be made to Phil Marfleet’s excellent article on US anti-migrant campaigns (July/August SR).

Like all borders the US-Mexico border is entirely artificial. Mexico had won independence in a revolutionary war against Spain in 1821. At that time Mexico included Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California and part of Colorado.

In 1845 the Democrat president, James Polk, decided to push the US border further south and west. What followed was a brutal war in which the US army invaded Mexico City itself, slaughtering and raping as it went. It was at this time that the doctrine of the “manifest destiny to overspread the continent” was born.

But there was also opposition to the war. In Boston and New York workers struck and demonstrated against the annexation. The US army was subject to huge desertions and in Mexico City there was mass resistance to the invasion.
Then, as now, ordinary people showed that they have no interest in borders that divide us in order to exploit us.

Chris Fuller
York