The USA as a Settler Nation


By Robert Gibbs, U.S. Correspondent, 27 January 2019,




At the center of the tug-of-war currently raging in the United States between Donald Trump and the Democratic Party is America’s legacy as a settler nation. The irony, of course, is that the Democrats are posturing as the anti to Trump’s pro.


Given this week’s decisive plummet in the President’s ratings as a direct result of the government shutdown and the disastrous impact this was having on large sections of the world’s “richest” nation that live one or two paychecks away from financial hardship – the President blinked Friday in agreeing to a three-week resumption of government services.


His Scylla was Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and his Charybdis included Ann Coulter – the ferociously xenophobic political commentator. Coulter immediately offered the taunt, “Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.


Beleaguered with mounting legal woes and political challenges Trump is anxious to retain his base of support among American nativists with the dwindling hope that his re-election in 2020 would insulate him from potential prosecution as a sitting president.


All of this merely begs the question – what should American immigration policy consist of? Neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party can address that with any insight more profound than varying degrees of brutal repression heavily colored with racial animus.


Contrary to the rhetoric, statistics prove than “illegal” immigrants are much less likely to break the law than US citizens yet Donald Trump kicked his 2016 election campaign off by referring to Mexicans as rapists and continues to beat that ragged drum by constantly inveighing against gang violence (MS13) that was authored by American meddling in El Salvador to begin with.


The Mexican Migration Project (MMP) was created in 1982 by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Guadalajara (Mexico) and Princeton University (US). That study has now concluded that the traditional cross-border movement of Mexican workers going back to the 19th Century seeking seasonal employment in the United States became, in the last thirty years, permanent residence… as a direct result of mounting legal barriers. In previous years immigrant workers naturally returned home to their families. Contrary to the xenophobes’ claims - the increasingly repressive legal structure has, in effect, permanently trapped these previously migrant workers in the United States.


Not to mention, of course, that the labor they perform is an integral, necessary, and highly profitable part of the American economy – particularly under the conditions of an aging, native demographic.


The historical backdrop to this is the predatory Mexican-American War of 1846-48 that stole most of what is now the American Southwest from a newly independent Mexican nation. This was a war fomented by Southern planters seeking to expand the realm of ante-bellum slave cotton, rice, and sugar production into an area of the continent where slavery (under the Mexican Guerrero decree of 1829) had been outlawed.


And the caravans, the immigration from Central America, are a direct result of the political and economic dislocations produced by decades of CIA-sponsored intervention in that area of the Western Hemisphere.


There is only one way that the working class of the United States can square this history of a settler nation and that is with a policy of open borders. People seeking employment, educational opportunities, or anything else should be free to emigrate where they please and the current social tension over the difficulties arising from a government shutdown must be raised to that level of historic understanding.