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whitetigress's avatar

Would you deem this statement, "This is our continent we were here first" as a good or bad argument for one trying to defend that there is no such thing as an illegal alien?

Asked by whitetigress (3129 points ) November 9th, 2011

When the Senate Bill 1070 was passed I took to the streets with my video camera and documented some moments. I remember hearing, “This is our continent we were hear first” by an American-Mexican with a bull horn. I have a link if you’re interested in watching it. I won’t post it here because it might be considered self-promotion which I have no intentions of.

Great answer to those who can argue for or against the statement, while giving an understanding of the opposition (giving credit to the intention of what might be considered valid but in the end countering it with perhaps more sources for your opinion.)

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13 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

In my opinion, no one group of people can lay claim to any nation-sized tract of land. Earth belongs to God, who has chosen the human race as husbandmen ( which has largely turned out to have been rather bad for the Earth ). However large a tract of land we currently have possession of, we are to hold in trust for the entire human race, and for the plants and animals resident there.

A naton is more than simply a tract of land around which we have placed borders. A nation is composed of its people, their culture and history, and their economy and symbols, in addition to the land. The land, and all the other things which make up a nation, is to be held in trust for future generations of mankind, not for just our own progeny.

lillycoyote's avatar

No, it’s not a very good argument. We’d pretty much all have to leave if it was. Did the “American-Mexican” mean that the Spanish got here before the Anglos? The Portuguese , Spanish, the Dutch, the Swedish, and the French all got to the new world, before the British, and at various points, the Spanish had staked out a sizeable chunk of the north, south and central Americas, France had pretty nice chunk, Portugal did o.k. in the south√©rio_total.png and then the British showed up and wanted a big piece of the pie too and then they spent several hundred years all kind of duking it out, and wheeling and dealing amongst themselves, all the while slaughtering native peoples, to try to work out which of them would would be stealing which part of it from the people who were already here, and had been for tens of thousands of years.

marinelife's avatar

A bad one. There have been migrations to this continent from prehistoric times. The American Indians came across the land bridge from Siberia.

wonderingwhy's avatar

By “our” exactly which group do you mean?

And no, I don’t believe “we were here first” is much of an argument, it’s just fishing for ancestral guilt.

JLeslie's avatar

Is he looking to let more Mexicans into America, or does he want Mexico to still own the area of the US they had before the Mexican American war?

Borders change, populations migrate. Being on land first doesn’t seem to cut it usually. We would have to give all our property in the US back to the Native Americans (which believe me I can see an argument for) but it just doesn’t work that way. The Mexicans who lived on what is now US land did become Americans, I don’t know of them being forced to leave and move south of the border? But, my knowledge of history isn’t great. I have never heard of a group laying claim to a continent? A country maybe, or specific area of land, but an entire continent?

Mexicans arguing America is their land and they want to come here is also arguing that Mexico should maybe adopt different policies so their country can be just as prosperous. Mexico is a huge country with mountains, shore line, fertile ground, varied climates, it has everything people would need in terms of natural resources to be successful. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why Mexicans want to come, and generally am for letting more in legally and a path to citizenship that is more clear cut.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Think: “human family.”

whitetigress's avatar

@JLeslie Hm, I can’t speak for him, because that’s all he was chanting. Across from him, however, a man was chanting, “Go back to Mexico!” over and over, as this particular man was chanting, “This is our continent we were here first.”

JLeslie's avatar

@whitetigress Continent? I mean even the “indegenious” people, the Native Americans of the Americas, were in their own specific regions. Mayans, Incas, Aztec, Eskimos, Cherokee, Etc. I don’t know enough to really speak to the specifics and the migration patterns of the various tribes and specific groups. Are the Mexicans also trying to lay claim to other areas of Latin America? Of course, I don’t thi k this one guy speaks for all Mexicans, don’t get me wrong. My husband is Mexican by the way.

jerv's avatar

Considering that my skin is rather pale, I don’t see how many Americans can use that argument. Granted, I am part Mi’kmaq, but I am mostly “immigrant”; English, German, Lithuanian…

Given my heritage, I could say, “We were here first!” about much of Europe despite never having set foot on that continent!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The ruling power structure can pass any laws they want and use force to impose them on whomever they want.

It doesn’t make anything they claim to be true and it does not make everything they do right.

We all share a small precious planet. All our ancestors come from somewhere. Some can truly trace their ancestry back to North America long before Europeans started arriving and pushing others aside or slaughtering them.

Most Americans are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Some came with documents and some didn’t. It continues to this day. Just because you got here before others only allows you to help them make their chances for a better life greater. You have no special privileges on account of your prior arrival or greater wealth and greed.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Chants and slogans aren’t supposed to be arguments, and they aren’t particularly good when used as such. I would suggest interpreting the statement in question as a rhetorical element of the protest. That seems the most charitable thing to do.

lloydbird's avatar

This is my planet.
And I will go and be wherever I like upon it.
Obviously, I don’t mind if you do the same.

Nullo's avatar

Bad argument – a non-sequitur, I think. Immigration policy is not a function of geography (or vice versa).
Ancestral claim gives you a reason to be someplace, but is not the stick with which to beat down your opponents.

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