The History Of Mexican Immigration Essay Research

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The History Of Mexican Immigration Essay, Research Paper The History of Mexican Immigration to the United States. Over the passed one and a half centuries, since the Treaty of Hidalgo in 1848 gave the United States most lands north of the Rio Grande, the 1200 mile United States-Mexican border has been a very active one. Mexicans have emigrated from their homeland in droves over these years in three major phases preceded by a small phase. The Mexicans have made this exodus in search of a better life than their homeland could offer. At first Mexicans had no interest in settling in the United States. This sentiment changed when the border had been closed. Mexicans feared never being able to come back to where jobs are much more plentiful than in their homeland. Others were

content with the American way and decided to try to become citizens. These people who stayed gathered in the Southwest and major cities like Chicago and Detroit and created thriving communities in America much like that of earlier European immigrants of the past to America. Mexicans first came to America in small numbers with the Sonoran miners and later came in huge numbers at different points in time. They all came for the same reasons, jobs. Migration of Sonoran Miners During the years of 1848 to 1956 miners from the state of Sonora Mexico emigrated to the southern mines of California. The California Gold Rush was in full bloom and the Sonorans wanted a piece of the action. This marked the first exodus, yet minor, of Mexicans to the United States. As many as 500 Mexicans a day

passed through the Santa Ines Mission in Northern Sonora. People were so set on leaving and joining in on the gold rush they braved the severe winter of 1848. Mexican officials started to worry because of the depopulation of Sonora. The Mexican Press waged a campaign to stop the exodus. A reversal of sorts occurred in 1849 when some of those who emigrated returned to their homelands. Upon their arrival they found conditions in Sonora worse than when they left. Sonoran miners were renowned for their abilities to produce despite the harsh conditions in the California mines. “Sonorans found the best pay dirt, recognized the gold first, and dug up the biggest nuggets” (Standart 6). In 1850 the Foreign Miners Tax law was passed. The law levied a $20 a month tax on foreign miners.

Foreigners as well as American miners were against the bill but protested to no avail. This led to 500 Sonorans leaving their work for their homeland or to other areas to mine. The migration effectively stopped in 1851. By 1856 the migration was over. Some Sonorans went back to Mexico, while others settled in Los Angeles and other big cities. After the migration of Sonoran miners, there was little to no immigration to the United States by Mexicans for about 20 years. The First Phase of Mexican Immigration To the United States- The First Laborers The first phase of Mexican immigration lasted from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. “Between 1877 and 1910, it is estimated that the population of Mexico increased by six million. Mexican haceinda size increased on average from

12,000 to 20,000 acres, some as large as 250,000 acres” (Miller 28). This led to less and less land for rural farmers who owned 7.7 percent of the total Mexican land, but made the vast majority of the population. In 1910 it was estimated that a Mexican farm workers purchasing power was one fourteenth that of an American Farm worker of the same class. The use of Mexicans on American farms began in the late 1880’s when the sugar beet industry was introduced to California. “Mexicans were used because, American laborers refused to accept such backbreaking work” (Miller 28). The Dingley Tariff Act of 1897 stimulated immigration to the United States. This act allowed the sugar beet industry to become very profitable through the use of inexpensive Mexican labor. Mexican