Davis warns of a new civil war with Southern states
Sees possibility of secession due to Mexican immigrants
By Jerry Zremski
The Buffalo News (NY), August 23, 2008
Washington, DC — Congressional candidate Jack Davis, in a speech earlier this year, warned that increasing immigration from Mexico could lead to a new civil war between northern states and Mexican-influenced Southern states that may want to secede from the United States.
'In the latter part of this century or the next, Mexicans will be a majority in many of the states and could therefore take control of the state government using the democratic process,' Davis said in the speech. 'They could then secede from the United States, and then we might have another civil war.'
A supporter of one of Davis' rivals for the Democratic nomination in the 26th district, Jon Powers, posted the video to YouTube. The Powers campaign alerted The Buffalo News to the Davis video.
The YouTube video is labeled as a speech Davis gave at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst on Feb. 1, but a center press release indicates that he spoke there on March 19.
No matter when he spoke, Davis could not have made his point of view on Mexican immigrants any clearer.
'They have an allegiance to Mexico, where they were taught the U.S. fought an unjust war with Mexico and took this territory,' Davis said. 'They believe the territory of these states belongs to Mexico.'
Davis did not name specific states that might be prone to succession.
But he appeared to be referring to Texas — which seceded from Mexico, briefly became an independent republic and then joined the United States — and the territories Mexico lost as a result of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and much of Colorado were all once Mexican territory, only to become U.S. states after the war.
Asked this week about his speech, Davis said he no longer believed
Southern states would be prone to leaving the union in order to assert Mexican control over what is now U.S. territory.
'I think they'll do it without a civil war,' he said. 'They'll take control of the state governments and start voting themselves anything they want.'
The video of the Davis speech was posted to YouTube on April 14 by Robert Harding, a blogger at the Albany Project blog who supports Powers. He said the video was provided to him by someone who attended the speech.
Powers' campaign manager, John Gerken, said the speech was very telling.
'I think Jack Davis' rant says it all: He thinks we are going to go to war with California and Arizona,' Gerken said. 'This is probably why his handlers won't let him debate and hide him from the press.'
Alice Kryzan, an environmental lawyer who is also running for the Democratic nomination to face Republican Christopher Lee in the race to replace retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, was equally critical of Davis.
'Many of these comments are wrong and offensive,' she said. 'We should address our illegal problems thoughtfully, not by demonizing anyone.'
Meanwhile, a top official at the National Council of La Raza, the nation's leading Hispanic organization, termed Davis' comments 'extremely offensive.'
'He's feeding an environment of intolerance that doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants,' said Clarissa Martinez, director of immigration and national campaigns for the organization. 'He's presenting our whole community as invaders — people who want to take over the country.'
In fact, Davis in his speech, said: 'Our country has been invaded, occupied and settled by 10 million illegal aliens.'
Davis issued a statement Friday, trying to clarify his earlier comments.
'My remarks at the Center were designed to bring urgency to the conversation,' he said in the statement. 'I believe passionately in protecting our homeland and securing our borders. If my language was hyperbolic, the danger it described certainly is not.' In the Thursday interview where he discussed the speech, Davis said he didn't recall everything he had said in the speech.
But among the topics he discussed in the speech was his solution for the illegal immigration problem.
'I think building a double wall long the southern border is the least expensive long-term solution to maintaining the heritage of our fathers,' Davis said in the speech on YouTube.
Davis, a 75-year-old Akron industrialist who has vowed to spend $3 million of his own money on the congressional race, plans to stay on the ballot in November — on his new 'Save Jobs and Farms Party' line — even if he loses the Democratic primary.
Many Western New York farmers rely on migrant workers from Mexico to bring in the crops.
After hearing quotes from Davis' speech, John Lincoln, the president of the New York Farm Bureau, said: 'The farmers overall would be really concerned about his statement.'
Told what Lincoln said, Davis replied: 'He's not a regular farmer. He's one of these big guys . . . I'd call him a multinational farmer.'
Lincoln, 70, is a dairy farmer with 200 head of cattle in Bloomfield, a village of 1,258 in Ontario County, southeast of Rochester. Asked if he had ever met Lincoln, Davis said he had not.