mexican repatriation

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.

Repatriation 1930s - “You look like Mexicans” “But we were born here…We’re Americans”

Between1929 and 1936 there was a massive forced deportation of people of Mexican descent, sometimes euphemistically referred to as “The Mexican Repatriation.” Studies have provided conflicting numbers for how many Mexicans were repatriated during this period, but estimates range from 500,000 to 2 million.

“Chicanxs were dropping out bc they felt their needs and culture weren’t being addressed.” Hmm, guess it’s true, history repeats itself. They leave out our Chicanx culture and they don’t speak about it. If they don’t address it how will we know what our history is? I wasn’t aware that there even was a culture and history that came along with being Chicana til I was sixteen. And it seems like I rant about this all the time but if we don’t address it, who will? We can’t let them push our history back and restrict us to a paragraph on Cesar Chavez. As much as they don’t like to admit it, we ARE apart of their history as well. I did not ONCE read about the Mexican Repatriation in school. Why should our history as Chicanos be taught as an elective? Fuck that. Please do teach about the time AMERICAN authorities forced people of Mexican decent back to Mexico. TWO MILLION people of Mexican decent were forced back to Mexico, about 1.2 million were US citizens. THAT is apart of American history. You can’t just sugar coat shit, pick and pull out some bits of history that makes y'all look good. We NEED our history as Chicanxs to be taught in school. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re being over dramatic. Start a change.

  • United States: man this gold rush is great. Mexico, can you send over some laborers?
  • Mexico: yeah sure, no problem
  • United States, later: hm ya know what we should do with absolutely no due process? Kick out the Mexicans! 60% of the estimated 2 million people we'll later forcefully evict from the country are legal citizens to the United States? No problem!
  • United States, later: hm yeah that was fine we'll issue no federal apology act or financial compensation for tearing these families apart! also, we probably won't teach about this in school! Many Mexicans in the mid 1800's to the early 1900's weren't allowed to do much of anything without the consent of their white employer? Most far western states didn't allow Mexicans to participate in politics? The one state that allowed Mexicans to participate in politics (New Mexico) was debated to even become a state because of the fact that Mexicans worked in the government? Americans changed "Spanish" to the more politically correct name for Mexicans because the word /Mexicans/ suggested "violence" and "a lack of order"?