Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s

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UNM Press, 2006 - Business & Economics - 427 pages
3 Reviews

During the Great Depression, a sense of total despair plagued the United States. Americans sought a convenient scapegoat and found it in the Mexican community. Laws forbidding employment of Mexicans were accompanied by the hue and cry to "get rid of the Mexicans!" The hysteria led pandemic repatriation drives and one million Mexicans and their children were illegally shipped to Mexico.

Despite their horrific treatment and traumatic experiences, the American born children never gave up hope of returning to the United States. Upon attaining legal age, they badgered their parents to let them return home. Repatriation survivors who came back worked diligently to get their lives back together. Due to their sense of shame, few of them ever told their children about their tragic ordeal.

Decade of Betrayal recounts the injustice and suffering endured by the Mexican community during the 1930s. It focuses on the experiences of individuals forced to undergo the tragic ordeal of betrayal, deprivation, and adjustment. This revised edition also addresses the inclusion of the event in the educational curriculum, the issuance of a formal apology, and the question of fiscal remuneration.


"Francisco Balderrama and Raymond Rodr guez, the authors of Decade of Betrayal, the first expansive study of Mexican repatriation with perspectives from both sides of the border, claim that 1 million people of Mexican descent were driven from the United States during the 1930s due to raids, scare tactics, deportation, repatriation and public pressure. Of that conservative estimate, approximately 60 percent of those leaving were legal American citizens. Mexicans comprised nearly half of all those deported during the decade, although they made up less than 1 percent of the country's population. 'Americans, reeling from the economic disorientation of the depression, sought a convenient scapegoat,' Balderrama and Rodr guez wrote. 'They found it in the Mexican community.'"--American History

 

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A must read into a dark period in American history. Amazing how the arguments used then to rid the nation of "brown people" are evidenced in the ideology and statements made by the likes of Stephen Bannon and Steven Miller. The review above focusing on the numbers belies the fact that it happened at all --nobody should be forced out our nation based on race and misguided fears about their culture or stereotypes.  

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figures from official statistics published by the INS for each fiscal year. figures are drawn from table 24A on page 179 of the "Annual Report of the Immigration and Naturalization Service" for fiscal year 1952. The historical table details numbers of "Aliens Deported and Aliens Departing Voluntarily Under Proceedings; Years ended June 30, 1892 to 1952." from the official record, 121,067 persons were deported or induced to leave. No where near the millions as claimed. 

Contents

II
1
III
7
IV
37
V
63
VI
89
VII
119
VIII
159
IX
195
XI
265
XII
299
XIII
329
XIV
343
XV
345
XVI
383
XVII
409
Copyright

X
237

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About the author (2006)

Raymond Rodriguez is professor emeritus, Long Beach City College in California. Francisco E. Balderrama is professor of American History and Chicano Studies at California State University, Los Angeles.

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