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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  -­20-­       relations between the two countries were “virtually paralyzed” as a result of the trade embargo, the Express said in a page one article. 82 “Hundreds of carloads of freight were diverted from Laredo” and U.S. businesses cut staff and wages amid the “chaotic state of affairs.” 83 Meanwhile, La Prensa reported that farmers in the Rio Grande Valley were convening to try to stem the crisis of scarce agricultural workers, a supply that had dwindled in the face of tighter U.S. border enforcement. 84 Mexico Reclaims its Citizens Mexican President-elect Pascual Ortiz Rubio’s invitation for Mexicans living in the U.S. to return to Mexico made page one of La Prensa on January 14, 1930. Ortiz Rubio made the invitation in a message to the Mexican community in Los Angeles, exhorting them to return to Mexico with their northern know-how and help rebuild the country. 85 A page three item La Prensa ran that same day suggests why Mexicans in the U.S. might have had the flexibility to respond to Rubio’s offer. Mexicans accounted for less than one percent of all immigrants that became citizens annually between 1925 and 1929, La Prensa noted. In 1929, 164 Mexicans became citizens out of the 224,728 people who were naturalized. 86 Few Mexicans were getting naturalized and fewer were coming to the U.S, with only 97 crossing the border at El Paso, the lowest monthly figure recorded to that point by El Paso immigration officials, La Prensa reported. 87 While the Express fought in its opinion pages to keep a door open for Mexicans, its news pages monitored the Mexicans return to their homeland. Mexico, the Express reported, would waive the repatriates’ customs duties on clothing and jewels, one firearm and 50 shells, 100 cigars, 40 packages of cigarettes, one pound of tobacco, books of any kind, scientific apparatus, tools, suits and trunks and working vehicles. Mexicans would

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  -­20-­  
relations between the two countries were “virtually paralyzed” as a result of the trade 
embargo, the Express said in a page one article.
 “Hundreds of carloads of freight were 
diverted from Laredo” and U.S. businesses cut staff and wages amid the “chaotic state of 
 Meanwhile, La Prensa reported that farmers in the Rio Grande Valley were 
convening to try to stem the crisis of scarce agricultural workers, a supply that had 
dwindled in the face of tighter U.S. border enforcement.
Mexico Reclaims its Citizens 
Mexican President-elect Pascual Ortiz Rubio’s invitation for Mexicans living in 
the U.S. to return to Mexico made page one of La Prensa on January 14, 1930. Ortiz 
Rubio made the invitation in a message to the Mexican community in Los Angeles, 
exhorting them to return to Mexico with their northern know-how and help rebuild the 
 A page three item La Prensa ran that same day suggests why Mexicans in the 
U.S. might have had the flexibility to respond to Rubio’s offer. Mexicans accounted for 
less than one percent of all immigrants that became citizens annually between 1925 and 
1929, La Prensa noted. In 1929, 164 Mexicans became citizens out of the 224,728 people 
who were naturalized.
 Few Mexicans were getting naturalized and fewer were coming 
to the U.S, with only 97 crossing the border at El Paso, the lowest monthly figure 
recorded to that point by El Paso immigration officials, La Prensa reported.
While the Express fought in its opinion pages to keep a door open for Mexicans, 
its news pages monitored the Mexicans return to their homeland. Mexico, the Express 
reported, would waive the repatriates’ customs duties on clothing and jewels, one firearm 
and 50 shells, 100 cigars, 40 packages of cigarettes, one pound of tobacco, books of any 
kind, scientific apparatus, tools, suits and trunks and working vehicles. Mexicans would 

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