Miles Park Romney was Mitt’s great grandfather, who fled the United States and crossed into Mexico in 1885 to escape "religious persecution". There he helped build the Mormon enclave of Colonia Juarez in Chihuahua. According to the Univserity of Utah media, polygamy was illegal in Mexico, too, but they were tolerant.
In the U.S. Miles Romney had been prosecuted in 1885 under the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act (for polygamy). This act allowed certain citizenship rights to be stripped of those convicted. Were the Romney's United States citizenship rights threatened under the Edmunds Anti-Polgyamy Act? Absolutely.
On December 1st 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes stated: "The law for the suppression of this offense was enacted with great unanimity by Congress more than seventeen years ago, but has remained until recently a dead letter in the Territory of Utah, because of the peculiar difficulties attending its enforcement. The opinion widely prevailed among the citizens of Utah that the law was in contravention of the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided the law to be within the legislative power of Congress and binding as a rule of action for all who reside within the Territories. There is no longer any reason for delay or hesitation in its enforcement. It should be firmly and effectively executed. If not sufficiently stringent in its provisions, it should be amended; and in aid of the purpose in view I recommend that more comprehensive and more searching methods for preventing as well as punishing this crime be provided. If necessary to secure obedience to the law, the enjoyment and exercise of the rights and privileges of citizenship in the Territories of the United States may be withheld or withdrawn from those who violate or oppose the enforcement of the law on this subject."
At the time the Romneys had been living in Mexico, wealth, political power and access to education in Mexico were concentrated among a handful of families, overwhelmingly of European descent, known as "hacendados", who controlled vast swaths of the country by virtue of their huge estates (one family had an estate in Sonora alone that comprised more than one million acres). Most people in Mexico were landless, laboring on the vast estates or in the mines for little more than slave wages. Foreign companies, mostly from the United Kingdom, France and the U.S.. exercised power in Mexico.
No peasant or farmer could claim the land he occupied without formal legal title. Helpless and angry small farmers and landless peasants saw no hope for themselves and their families under a Diaz regime, and came to the conclusion that a change of leadership would be the only route that offered any hope for themselves and their country. Such famous figures in Mexican history as Francisco I. Madero, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata would launch a rebellion against Díaz, all of which eventually coalesced into what became known as the Mexican Revolution.
More than 95% of Mexico's land was owned by less than 5% of the population. This vastly unequal distribution of land—and, therefore, wealth—had plagued Mexico for many years, to the anger and dismay of the working classes, as this corrupt system allowed the rich to get richer while ensuring that the poor remained poor, or got even poorer. Workers on the vast "haciendas" were often treated like slaves, being beaten for the slightest infraction—real or imagined—and murders of workers by their "masters" was not uncommon. Another way to ensure that farmers and workers were kept under the thumb of the wealthy classes was to make sure that any debt incurred was passed down from generation to generation, thereby ensuring that it would never be paid off and the farmers would be kept in perpetual debt bondage.
Mitt Romney's great grandfather was a hacendado during this time. Was he also guilty of these abuses to the Mexican people?
Most historians mark the end of the Porfiriato in 1911 as the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. Mitt Romney’s family later sued Mexico after using it as a safe haven (when they had fled the United States to escape polygamy laws.)
After the Mexican Revolution broke out, and the Romney’s family had fled and went back to the United States, the Romney family did not help with the Mexican Revolution, nor did they stand their ground and help their new found safe haven. Why does it appear that when the tough gets going, the Romney family has a history of fleeing, not only the United States — but Mexico, too? This isn’t the only war that was dodged by the Romney family, because Mitt Romney also dodged the draft during the Vietnam War era. And not one of Romney's many sons has enlisted for military service either.
From the Boston Globe: "After fleeing the Mexican revolution, Mitt Romney’s grandfather, Gaskell lost his home and possessions. While living in Salt Lake City, Gaskell Romney ran for County Commissioner. Gaskell sued Mexico for the loss of his property and, in 1938, was awarded damages of $9,163.
In other words, Miles Park Romney used Mexico as a safe haven when fleeing polygamy laws here in the United States, so that later Mexico could be sued by Gaskell Romney because the oppressed Mexican people had driven them out with torches and pitch forks.
From the SRE of México: "Twenty-seven years after Miles fled from U.S. government agents and took refuge in Mexico, the Romney family was back in the United States. The U.S. government, which had once chased Miles to Mexico due to his polygamy, now welcomed the Romneys and other Mormons to the United States. Congress established a $100,000 relief fund that enabled the Romneys and other Mormon exiles to receive food and lodging. The case of Gaskell Romney v. United States of Mexico was finalized in Salt Lake City in 1938. Gaskell requested $26,753 in damages. He was awarded $9,163, court records show — a sizable amount in the post-Depression years. The records say that Gaskell was to give half of the award to his son George, helping to set the family on firmer financial footing in the United States.
Was the Romney family U.S. citizenship stripped when they left the United States? No one knows yet. And Romney is steadfastly reluctant to produce tax return papers, even though he happily asks immigrants for their papers.
What we do know is that Mitt Romney has harsh views of immigration when he proudly accepted the endorsement of Kris Kobach. Like his fellow Republican via Russell Pearce (who sponsored the SB 1070 law in Arizona) — Romney supports self-deportation laws, too.
Indeed it is correct to say that the U.S. Government bailed out the Romney family in their time of need when Congress voted $100,000 for Mormon transportation and relief (which calculates to approximately 2.5 million dollars today). Yet, this is strange to hear considering Mitt Romney saying he was not concerned with the very poor.
"Abusador" is a word Mexican-Americans are using to describe Mitt Romney, because they see a pattern of abuse that ranges from Bain Capital to the very poor and voiceless.
It's a farce that Mitt Romney now brags about Mexican roots.