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Were refugees, not immigrants
We Californians on the island are not immigrants as much as we are refugees. Nor are we illegal. It takes proper papers to cross a border to a foreign country, but a citizen can pass freely between the states. If you were born in this country, you are not an immigrant, but a citizen. Most of us are citizens, born of citizens, several generations back.
Yes, California was part of Mexico, but there was a war and Mexico lost. The United States made a treaty with Mexico in 1848 called The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, that gave all the Mexicans the right to stay in this country and become American citizens or go to Mexico to become Mexican citizens.
We then paid Mexico $15 million, which is a better deal than the Indians got for Manhattan, when they traded for a string of beads.