US Customs and Border Patrol Celebrate European American Heritage Month

Employees at the US Customs and Border Patrol’s El Centro unit took time out recently to officially celebrate European American Heritage Month, according to a report in the CBP El Centro Twitter account.

The CBP Tweet showed CBP employees celebrating European culture, and listened to a speech from US Border Patrol Agent Faccin, who told huis life story of how he had been a police officer in Italy before joining the U.S. Coast Guard and eventually becoming a U.S. Citizen.

It is not widely-known that the state of California is unique among all US states in that it officially recognized October as “European American Heritage Month” in 1999.

Needless to say, there are few, if any, official celebrations of the event, as the surprising tweet from the El Centro CBP demonstrated.

The California Assembly adopted “Resolution No. 91—Relative to European American Heritage Month” on July 20, 1998, after it was introduced by Louis John Papan (1928–2007), a Democratic California politician who served for 20 years in the California State Assembly.

According to the bill, this “measure would recognize the month of October 1998 as European American Heritage Month.”

The bill went on to state:

“WHEREAS, There are approximately 188 million European Americans in the United States, and 16 million Californians of European ancestry; and

WHEREAS, This diaspora is diverse in religious beliefs; and

WHEREAS, This diaspora represents diverse ethnicities including Anglo-Saxon, Armenian, Basque, Celtic, Gallic, Germanic, Greek, Iberian, Italic, Scandinavian, and Slavic; and

WHEREAS, This diaspora is diverse in country of origin and comes from an area commonly referred to as Europe that is bounded by land west of the Ural Mountains, north of the Mediterranean Sea, east of the Atlantic Ocean, and south of the Arctic Ocean; and

WHEREAS, This diaspora has led to the establishment of public and private institutions in the United States that are praised by people everywhere in the world; and

WHEREAS, The tremendous contributions by European Americans in the field of engineering, science, and medicine have changed the face of this planet; and

WHEREAS, The European American population is projected to be a minority by the year 2000 in California and by 2050 in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Currently there is no official recognition by governmental agencies and public schools of a specially designated heritage month for European Americans; and

WHEREAS, There is official recognition for other national origin, continent origin, and ethnic groups in California; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That in the interest of fairness and diversity, the Legislature of the State of California recognizes the month of October 1998 as European American Heritage Month to honor and celebrate our European American heritage; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.”

As far as The New Observer can determine, the CBP El Centro El celebration of European American Heritage Month has been the only official function so far.

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