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They Came to Toil: U.S. News Coverage of Mexicans on the Eve of the Great Depression
Unformatted Document Text:  They  Came  to  Toil:  U.S.  News  Coverage  of  Mexicans  on  the  Eve  of  the  Great  Depression   Melita  M.  Garza  -­-­  Page  -­12-­       immigration. Box may have had more in common with the Saturday Evening Post than he did with media deep in the heart of the western part of his home state. Economic Arguments On January 14, 1930, the San Antonio Express ran an Associated Press story on page one, “Box Proposes New Alien Limit,” detailing the “drastic restriction of immigration” proposed in separate bills by House Immigration Committee Chairman Albert Johnson of Washington state and Box, the ranking minority member. 46 Johnson was the architect of the Immigration Act of 1924 that established a quota system for immigration based on national origin (excluding Western Hemisphere countries). The bill’s supporters had rallied around then President Calvin Coolidge’s “America for Americans” rhetoric. Now Johnson was back, making cultural and economic arguments against unbridled Western Hemisphere immigration. The influx from the southern hemisphere had led to “the infiltration of non-assimilable aliens,” said Johnson, calling it a “notorious fact” that immigrants had “depressed wage scales in New England and the Southwest.” 47 Both bills aimed to limit Western Hemisphere immigration to 50,000 people per year. Box said his bill would treat all countries equally though provisions easing entry for “habitual English speakers” would favor Canada. 48 The Express renounced the measure the next day in an editorial proclaiming “No Call For New World Immigration Quota.” 49 Vigorous enforcement of literacy and health tests were “sufficient” deterrents to excess immigration, the Express said. 50 The paper went on to question whether Johnson’s limits would “tend to aggravate” illegal immigration rather than stop it. On January 24, 1930, the Express reiterated its opposition to the Box Bill, saying its passage would imperil U.S. economic and diplomatic interests.

Authors: Garza, Melita M..
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They  Came  to  Toil:  
U.S.  News  Coverage  of  Mexicans  on  the  Eve  of  the  Great  Depression  
Melita  M.  Garza  -­-­  Page  -­12-­  
 
 
immigration. Box may have had more in common with the Saturday Evening Post than 
he did with media deep in the heart of the western part of his home state.  
Economic Arguments 
On January 14, 1930, the San Antonio Express ran an Associated Press story on 
page one, “Box Proposes New Alien Limit,” detailing the “drastic restriction of 
immigration” proposed in separate bills by House Immigration Committee Chairman 
Albert Johnson of Washington state and Box, the ranking minority member.
46
 Johnson 
was the architect of the Immigration Act of 1924 that established a quota system for 
immigration based on national origin (excluding Western Hemisphere countries). The 
bill’s supporters had rallied around then President Calvin Coolidge’s “America for 
Americans” rhetoric. Now Johnson was back, making cultural and economic arguments 
against unbridled Western Hemisphere immigration. The influx from the southern 
hemisphere had led to “the infiltration of non-assimilable aliens,” said Johnson, calling it 
a “notorious fact” that immigrants had “depressed wage scales in New England and the 
Southwest.”
47
 Both bills aimed to limit Western Hemisphere immigration to 50,000 
people per year. Box said his bill would treat all countries equally though provisions 
easing entry for “habitual English speakers” would favor Canada.
48
 
The Express renounced the measure the next day in an editorial proclaiming “No 
Call For New World Immigration Quota.”
49
 Vigorous enforcement of literacy and health 
tests were “sufficient” deterrents to excess immigration, the Express said.
50
 The paper 
went on to question whether Johnson’s limits would “tend to aggravate” illegal 
immigration rather than stop it. On January 24, 1930, the Express reiterated its opposition 
to the Box Bill, saying its passage would imperil U.S. economic and diplomatic interests. 


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