Tuesday, June 20, 2006

U.S. urged to apologize for 1930s deportations

U.S. urged to apologize for 1930s deportations
Updated 4/5/2006 6:57 AM
By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY


"They came in with guns and told us to get out," recalls Piña, 81, a retired railroad worker in Bakersfield, Calif., of the 1931 raid. "They didn't let us take anything," not even a trunk that held birth certificates proving that he and his five siblings were U.S.-born citizens.

The family was thrown into a jail for 10 days before being sent by train to Mexico. Piña says he spent 16 years of "pure hell" there before acquiring papers of his Utah birth and returning to the USA.

The deportation of Piña's family tells an almost-forgotten story of a 1930s anti-immigrant campaign. Tens of thousands, and possibly more than 400,000, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were pressured — through raids and job denials — to leave the USA during the Depression, according to a USA TODAY review of documents and interviews with historians and deportees. Many, mostly children, were U.S. citizens.


At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Art Tatman

June 23, 2006

To place this topic in a Dallas perspective, in 1920 10,000 ethnic Mexicans (Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals residing here)lived here. In 1940 only 6,000 remained. Many of those who returned to Mexico (often due to planned denial of social services or various "incentives") were the US citizen children of Mexican nationals.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger H. McLure said...

Thanks very much for the local perspective. That's quite a significant drop in the population. So when did the ethnic Mexican population begin to increase again -- World War II?

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Art Tatman

Yes, by war's end the ethnic Mexican population in Dallas well- exceeded 1920's population. It was during the war that the main barrio of Little Mexico (today's Victory and nortwestern Uptown areas) and the smaller West Dallas barrio, called "Cement City," remained stagnant, while new barrios in Oak Cliff and East Dallas formed and grew incrementally.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger H. McLure said...

Did they return under the Bracero program? What kind of work did the new arrivals perform in Dallas?


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