Today is Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico’s unlikely victory against its French occupiers in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
The holiday is usually associated with festivities celebrating Mexico’s incredible culture. But numerous historians believe there’s an added reason to celebrate this day: If Mexico hadn’t won this battle, they argue, the French would have proceeded to ally with the Confederacy in U.S. Civil War, potentially changing the entire course of American history.
The joyous celebration and the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo serve as reminders of the special relationship between America and Mexico.
And this relationship should be reinforced right now at a time where one American presidential candidate and many other policymakers are calling to build a wall between the borders of the two countries.
Much of this increased animosity is a result of misguided beliefs about the impacts of Mexican immigration on the U.S. economy. In the video below, economist Bryan Caplan debunks three common myths about immigrants in general:
- That they are a net drag on our economy.
- That they steal our jobs.
- That they depress our wages.
So let’s observe Cinco de Mayo, remembering the cultural and historical significance of the holiday and celebrating the heritage of so many hardworking Americans. And when we do, let’s consider present tensions with Mexico and refuse to let widespread myths ruin our relationship with one of our closest neighbors.