The History Of Mexican Immigration Essay Research — страница 2

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immigration to the U.S. was also stimulated by the Mexican revolution of 1909-1910. People trying to flee persecution fled to the United States, along with people trying to escape the blood shed and major change. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Japanese and Chinese immigration to the United States was thwarted by new foreign policy imposed on the two nations. The two groups made up most of the railway work force. Mexicans were used to supplement their departure from this business. At this stage Mexicans made up most of the railway work force in the southwest. Between 35,000 and 50,000 Mexicans were employed by the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe lines. Mexicans were usually referred to as peons . They were thought to be lazy, docile, and lacking ambition. “The Mexican,”

reported economist Victor S. Clark in 1908, “is docile, patient, usually orderly in camp, fairly intelligent under competent supervision, obedient and cheap. If he was active and ambitious, he would be less tractable and would cost more. His strongest point is his willingness to work for a low wage” (Reisler 25). There was a small number of Americans who thought otherwise. Protestant missionaries trying to convert Mexicans said Americans could learn from Mexicans. “They emphasized the Mexican artistic and musical ability and his love of beauty” (Reisler 27-28). In 1930 Congress passed a quota bill curtailing the number of Mexican immigrants allowed to enter the United States. This ended the first phase of Mexican immigration. “Perhaps as much as ten percent of

Mexico’s population approximately one and a half million people [immigrated] to the U.S. between 1900 and 1930″ (Reisler 23). Between the first and second phase of Mexican immigration 350,000 to 500,000 Mexicans went to back to their native lands during the great depression. The Second Phase of Mexican Immigration to The United States- The Bracero Program The second phase of Mexican immigration came around the end of World War II with the Mexico Contract laborers, better known as the Bracero Program. This came about with the shortage of agricultural workers in the United States, and poor economic conditions in Mexico. “It was devised so that Mexicans could be sent to work in selected agricultural areas of the United States under a series of bilateral agreements between the

two countries” (Miller 29). Each Mexican state was given a quota for the number of those to be contracted from their state. Workers were then brought to recruitment centers. The Mexicans who were accepted at these centers were turned over to the U.S. Department of Labor, who placed the workers in U.S. farms. The number of contracts issued was far less than that of Mexicans wanting to come over. “For example, in 1945 the number of permits given by the Mexican government totaled 104,541 but only 49,454 contracts were issued by the U.S. Department of Labor” (Miller 30). After World War II the U.S. demand for Mexican immigrants increased. “Of a total of 4.6 million contracts issued during the life of the program around 72 percent were printed between 1955 and 1964″ (Miller

30). Two related controversies created opposition to the program. In 1948 the United States opened its border to several thousand Mexicans because of a labor shortage. “The Mexican government was upset over this and considered taking action for damages inflected along its Northern border due to an uncontrollable exodus of border resident laborers” (Miller 30). The United States apologized and the two sides were at peace. On January 15, 1954, the United States said all Braceros were to be contracted until the U.S. and Mexican governments came to a new agreement on the program. Mexico responded by not letting laborers be contracted legally by the United States. Large groups of Mexicans did not take the demands seriously and gathered at border cities, wanting to enter the United

States. The Mexicans brought troops to the cities trying to disband the crowds. When Mexican President Ruiz Cortinez heard the event was leading to domestic crises he withdrew his troops. The United States and Mexico came to agreement with no harm done. Between 1949 and 1959 the number of Bracero’s increased from 8,500 to 84,000. During the later stage of this increase opposition to the program also greatly increased. Farm workers union’s greatly opposed the program and demanded its termination. In 1960 opposition rose in Congress. The Kennedy Administration openly opposed the program. The program was ended in 1964. Mexico made last ditch efforts to restore the program, but in 1975 the Mexican government finally realized the Bracero program was not its answer to its