One of our followers asked us to make a post on the Mexican Repatriation:
Basically, 2 million people of Mexican descent were forced to leave the United States and were deported to Mexico from 1929 to 1939. Around 60% of these people were U.S. citizens. This is called the Mexican Repatriation.
There are many causes for the Mexican Repatriation but I’ll address just a few important ones. Mexicans had been coming in increasing numbers to the United States, especially California, since the Gold Rush in 1848 and even up to the 1920’s when the United States was in an age of relative prosperity aka the Roaring 20s.
(Mexican Immigration Records- United States Congress Report)
Then came the Great Depression from 1929 - 1945 where unemployment dropped and the American economy collapsed. Many middle and lower class Americans lost their jobs.
A philosophy prevalent during this time period was called Social Darwinism. This promoted the idea that people should so anything they can to succeed and that economic success meant one was a “fit” human. Social Darwinism legitimized a lot of the greed during that era that actually caused the Great Depression.
Racism and xenophobia were also common at the time of the Great Depression and that was reinforced by bad economic conditions because Mexican immigrants were seen as an economic burden because they were taking jobs and using public resources.
With all of these factors in mind, President Herbert Hoover authorised the Mexican Repatriation Program where The Immigration and Naturalization Service would raid places with high populations of Mexicans such as California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan. They would arrest and deport people in those communities with no due process. Because of that many legal American citizens were deported to Mexico just for being Mexican.
The Mexican Repatriation Program is not talked about in American history, so we have a responsibility to talk about it and make it known. It is a huge blot on our nation’s history but we have to acknowledge it to make sure it never happens again. Many of the recent immigration statements in the United States reflect the xenophobia and racism in the 1920s and 1930s that led to the Mexican Repatriation. This is not a new issue. Let’s make sure history does not repeat itself.