Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s
As the Depression engulfed the United States in the early 1930s, fear and anxiety spread that Mexicans were taking jobs and welfare benefits away from "real" Americans. Local, state, and national officials launched massive efforts to get rid of the Mexicans. Eventually more than a million were shipped back to Mexico. In this book the impact of the forced relocation on both sides of the border is carefully appraised. Mexicans and their children were repatriated indiscriminately because it was assumed they were a costly burden to taxpayers. However, as the authors painstakingly document, few socio-economic benefits were received by Mexicans. Nonetheless, a horrific toll was extracted from individuals, families, and entire barrios due to the anti-Mexican hysteria. In Mexico, the return of native sons and daughters and their American-born children sorely strained the social and agrarian reforms initiated by President Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940) and his predecessors. Prior to this study, scholars had never addressed that aspect of repatriation. By combining extensive archival research with oral history testimony, the authors have created a compelling narrative that blends individual recollections with scholarly interpretation.
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