Let's look at the situation. Nearly 10% of Mexico's population is living in the US, with a majority of those numbers being illegal immigrants. Most of them send money back to Mexico to the tune of $20 billion annually, if I recall correctly. It's the largest source of money in the Mexican economy next to oil revenues. As we saw during the rallies of the last few months, there are many Mexicans in the US who hold tightly to their identity as Mexicans, and there is even a movement, however marginal, to "take back" a portion of the American southwest for Mexico. At one point, the Mexican government even printed maps for the citizens on how to get to the US and where to go once inside. They stopped after it went public in the US. Many Mexicans still vote in Mexican elections, and some of their politicians have even taken to campaigning in the US.
Given all of that, what is the significant difference between calling this "immigration" and calling it "colonization"?
It seems like simply a philosophical question at first, but the implications for the debate are quite strong. A lot of people will look the other way at illegal immigrants because they're "just trying to have a better life." But colonization is looked at almost as an act of war. That, few will put up with.
Of course, many will reject the term outright. But which term is most appropriate? According to dictionary.com:
Immigrant: 1. A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.
Colony: 1. a. A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country.
b. A territory thus settled.
2. A region politically controlled by a distant country; a dependency.
3. a. A group of people with the same interests or ethnic origin concentrated in a particular area: the American colony in Paris.
b. The area occupied by such a group.
So, share your thoughts. Which do you think is the most appropriate term?