Things That Matter

A GOP Candidate For Senate Just Suggested Annexing All Of Mexico And Apparently He Isn’t Joking

Immigration from Central America and Mexico continues to be a hot topic among both the public and politicians. While some still rally for the closing of deadly and inhuman migration centers along the Southern U.S. border, others feed into anti-immigrant sentiment and the far-right’s so-called solutions to migration. Though unimpressive and expensive, Trump’s border wall is also still a favorite among conservative supporters. Still, other ideas are being shared to “fix” the issue with migration — and this latest one is pretty laughable. 

A GOP candidate for Arizona’s Senate race recently suggested annexing Mexico (yes, the whole country) into the United States in order to bypass issues of Southern migration. 

Twitter / @Newsweek

Daniel McCarthy is a cosmetic company executive from Glendale, Arizona who announced his candidacy for the Arizona state Senate in August. Running against incumbent Senator Martha McSally for the Republican primary, the new politician has called for a return to “authenticity and integrity.” One of his biggest platform points is solving the immigration problem. 

While making his rounds to raise support for his campaign, McCarthy stopped by iHeartRadio for an interview with host Garret Lewis. That’s where he shared his outrageous solution for the Mexico-United States border conflict. While proposing his idea that Mexico be annexed into the U.S., McCarthy suggested that the U.S. could benefit from some new “beachfront property” after the acquisition. 

“There is a process to become states for the United States,” McCarthy explained, citing the Constitution’s requirements for admitting new states. “Clearly 30 million Mexican illegal immigrants want to be United States citizens, probably half the country wants to be United States citizens. There’s a reason they’re coming here.”

Though he still supports Trump’s border wall, McCarthy appealed to Mexican citizens with his suggestion of incorporating Mexico as a state. 

Twitter / @OficialEnLaMira

McCarthy cited what he suggested were unsavory living conditions for all of the Mexican people. 

“They live in hell,” he expressed. “Their government is corrupt. The cartels are destroying these peoples’ lives. Personally, I think the power brokers in D.C. don’t want the American people to start thinking about how easily useless politicians can be removed.”

With these grievances in mind, he prompted the people of Mexico to “rise up” and fight for statehood.

“I want to speak above the Mexican government,” the Republican candidate stated. “When you’re talking to the Mexican citizens, ‘Rise up in your communities and petition to become states for the United States.’ That’s how that process works. By the way, it’s not that challenging.”

As unfounded as McCarthy’s plan is, it also ignores the main source of current migration at the Southern border. 

Twitter /@PeriodismoHoyMX

Though migrants are attempting to enter the U.S. from the Mexican border, the majority of those detained are from Central America. According to DHS Office of Inspector General statistics that were released earlier this year, the majority of migrants seeking asylum at the Southern border are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. 

These countries experience a high level of crime and violence along with having a population stricken by poverty. In Guatemala, 60% of the population live below the poverty line while contending with a corrupt and ineffective national government. Honduras is worse off with 65% of its population living in abject poverty. It’s from this poverty and violence that these migrants flee. Annexing Mexico wouldn’t solve their problems as they are not Mexican citizens. 

For the most part, the reaction to McCarty’s suggestion has been to ridicule it as an outrageous idea. Since then, the Republican candidate has slightly walked back his proposal and called it “kind of a joke.”

This annexation plan wasn’t the only bit of ridiculousness to come from McCarthy recently.

Twitter / @PhilipWegmann

On Monday, the first time candidate posted a comment on a Facebook group for Republicans that is drawing a lot of criticism. In response to doubt about his fitness as a candidate, McCarthy wrote, “I am qualified for the job. Jesus was 33 when he saved the world.” 

McCarthy later did an interview with “The Arizona Republic” and attempted to defend the comparison. According to the 34 year-old candidate, the Facebook group had negatively brought up his age before and the comment was made to explain how age shouldn’t be a factor in the race. 

“I would never compare myself to Jesus,” McCarthy said in the interview. “I would never even come close to comparing myself to Jesus Christ. I made reference to his age when he was crucified.”

Later the same day, he tweeted out another comparison of himself to Jesus. “Show me the lie,” the since deleted Tweet read. “They also hated Jesus because He spoke the truth.”

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Mexico Wants To Be The Hub Of Latin America’s Space Industry And This Is Their Incredible Plan

Things That Matter

Mexico Wants To Be The Hub Of Latin America’s Space Industry And This Is Their Incredible Plan

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Getty

Although the world is still struggling with how best to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, many governments are forging ahead with long term goals and development programs.

One of the most important to new programs to launch in Mexico is central to its economic and scientific future – its future in space. Together with other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (some of which already have their own independent agencies), Mexico is looking to become the leader in the region when it comes to space research and exploration.

The country recently announced its intentions for just such an agency, that they hope would be based in Mexico with foreign capital providing the seed money to get the project off the ground.

Mexico announced its intention to head up a Latin American and Caribbean space agency.

Mexico has launched an ambitious new project – creating a Latin American Space and Caribbean Space Agency that would facilitate the sharing of satellite images and aims to observe the planet. The agency would be dedicated to earth observation, satellite image sharing and multi-sector dialogue.

The project was presented by Javier López Casarín, Honorary President of the Technical Council of Knowledge and Innovation of the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AMEXCID). López Casarín attended the meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), where he presented the project for the creation of the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency, an entity that will be at the same level as other agencies (think NASA and the European Space Agency) of world space research with which it hopes to exchange information.

As part of the same meeting, the Latin American coordinators highlighted the role of Mexico in charge of the presidency of the community of Latin American states and appreciated the proposal to create a joint space agency.

Mexico has had a space agency of its own since 2010 but they’re looking to expand the operations.

Mexico has had its own space agency, the Agencia Espacial Mexicana, since 2010. Plus, several other countries across Latin America and the Caribbean have their own similar departments that over see satellites, information gathering, meteorological date, etc.

Mexico’s space agency has been tasked with carrying out study programs, research, and academic support, however, its duties have never included the aim of space exploration with its own infrastructure.

One of the agency’s key objectives is to help increase internet connectivity across the region.

In 2019, the Agencia Espacial Mexicana announced it was developing its space program around the needs of Mexican society – that it would be for the social benefit.

Among other techonoligcal solutions, the government has made it a core principle to help expand access to Internet across the country. By merging various space agencies into one, this increased Internet connectivity will likely spread to other countries in Latin America.

Internet connectivity rates vary from around 27% in El Salvador to close to 80% in Brazil – so bringing that wide gap is seen as critical for sustained development in the region.

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The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico

Culture

The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico

Tyrone Turner / Getty Images

Latinos make up the largest minority group in the country, yet our history is so frequently left out of classrooms. From Chicano communities in Texas and California to Latinos in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the Underground Railroad – which also had a route into Mexico – Latinos have helped shape and advance this country.

And as the U.S. is undergoing a racial reckoning around policing and systemic racism, Mexico’s route of the Underground Railroad is getting renewed attention – particularly because Mexico (for the very first time in history) has counted its Afro-Mexican population as its own category in this year’s census.

The Underground Railroad also ran south into Mexico and it’s getting renewed attention.

Most of us are familiar with stories of the Underground Railroad. It was a network of clandestine routes and safe houses established in the U.S. during the early to mid-19th century. It was used by enslaved African Americans to escape into free states and Canada. It grew steadily until the Civil War began, and by one estimate it was used by more than 100,000 enslaved people to escape bondage.

In a story reported on by the Associated Press, there is renewed interest in another route on the Underground Railroad, one that went south into Mexico. Bacha-Garza, a historian, dug into oral family histories and heard an unexpected story: ranches served as a stop on the Underground Railroad to Mexico. Across Texas and parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas, scholars and preservation advocates are working to piece together the story of a largely forgotten part of American history: a network that helped thousands of Black slaves escape to Mexico.

According to Maria Hammack, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin studying the passage of escapees who crossed the borderlands for sanctuary in Mexico, about 5,000 to 10,000 people broke free from bondage into the southern country. Currently, no reliable figures currently exist detailing how many left to Mexico, unlike the more prominent transit into Canada’s safe haven.

Mexico abolished slavery a generation before Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Thirty-four years before Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, in 1829, Mexican President Vicente Guerrero, who was of mixed background, including African heritage, abolished slavery in the country. The measure freed an estimated 200,000 enslaved Africans Spain forcefully brought over into what was then called New Spain and would later open a pathway for Blacks seeking freedom in the Southern U.S.

And he did so while Texas was still part of the country, in part prompting white, slave-holding immigrants to fight for independence in the Texas Revolution. Once they formed the Republic of Texas in 1836, they made slavery legal again, and it continued to be legal when Texas joined the U.S. as a state in 1845.

With the north’s popular underground railroad out of reach for many on the southern margins, Mexico was a more plausible route to freedom for these men and women.

Just like with the northern route, helping people along the route was dangerous and could land you in serious trouble.

Credit: Library of Congress / Public Domain

Much like on the railway’s northern route into Canada, anyone caught helping African-Americans fleeing slavery faced serious and severe consequences.

Slaveholders were aware that people were escaping south, and attempted to get Mexico to sign a fugitive slave treaty that would, like the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that demanded free states to return escapees, require Mexico to deliver those who had left. Mexico, however, refused to sign, contending that all enslaved people were free once they reached Mexican soil. Despite this, Hammock said that some Texans hired what was called “slave catchers” or “slave hunters” to illegally cross into the country, where they had no jurisdiction, to kidnap escapees.

“The organization that we know today as the Texas Rangers was born out of an organization of men that were slave hunters,” Hammack, who is currently researching how often these actions took place, told the AP. “They were bounty hunters trying to retrieve enslaved property that crossed the Rio Grande for slave owners and would get paid according to how far into Mexico the slaves were found.”

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