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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  -­21-­       still have to pay duties to bring a piano or a pleasure car. 88 In its February 1, 1930, story, “Many Mexicans are Returning,” the Express reported that “the nucleus of a repatriation movement” had become apparent with 50 families crossing the border from Laredo. Most had been tenant farmers in the U.S., where they had lived for 25 or more years and were now returning with their duty-free farm vehicles and equipment to work on newly irrigated Mexican land. 89 Deportation by the Numbers La Prensa monitored immigration in a way that the Express did not: by counting. In a December 23, 1929, article La Prensa treated its readers to a statistical history of Mexican immigration, showing how Mexicans were welcomed in labor shortages during wartime and then shown the door. Among other things, the article noted more recent immigration from the Mediterranean and the Orient, as it was called then, led to new immigration restrictions in 1924. Mexican and Canadian immigration was “almost nothing” before 1915. “After the Great War, the European contingents dwindled at the same time Mexican and Canadian immigration grew. Following that, the U.S. expedited restrictive [immigration] laws.” 90 La Prensa also gave readers periodic tallies of the number of deportations occurring. Typical was a page four banner headline, “115 Mexicans Deported From Laredo.” 91 The accompanying article, datelined Laredo, Texas, said 94 had been deported in December and 15 on January 1, 1930, with most having entered the country illegally. A subsequent article said that 1,758 Mexicans had been deported from Laredo in 1929. 92 On its editorial page, La Prensa called the latest news about Mexican deportees “alarming,” with 12,000 of the expelled Mexicans “at large along the border without jobs,

Authors: Garza, Melita M..
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background image
They  Came  to  Toil:  
U.S.  News  Coverage  of  Mexicans  on  the  Eve  of  the  Great  Depression  
Melita  M.  Garza  -­-­  Page  -­21-­  
 
 
still have to pay duties to bring a piano or a pleasure car.
88
  In its February 1, 1930, story, 
“Many Mexicans are Returning,” the Express reported that “the nucleus of a repatriation 
movement” had become apparent with 50 families crossing the border from Laredo. Most 
had been tenant farmers in the U.S., where they had lived for 25 or more years and were 
now returning with their duty-free farm vehicles and equipment to work on newly 
irrigated Mexican land.
89
 
Deportation by the Numbers 
La Prensa monitored immigration in a way that the Express did not: by counting. 
In a December 23, 1929, article La Prensa treated its readers to a statistical history of 
Mexican immigration, showing how Mexicans were welcomed in labor shortages during 
wartime and then shown the door. Among other things, the article noted more recent 
immigration from the Mediterranean and the Orient, as it was called then, led to new 
immigration restrictions in 1924.  Mexican and Canadian immigration was “almost 
nothing” before 1915. “After the Great War, the European contingents dwindled at the 
same time Mexican and Canadian immigration grew. Following that, the U.S. expedited 
restrictive [immigration] laws.”
90
 
  La Prensa also gave readers periodic tallies of the number of deportations 
occurring. Typical was a page four banner headline, “115 Mexicans Deported From 
Laredo.”
91
The accompanying article, datelined Laredo, Texas, said 94 had been deported 
in December and 15 on January 1, 1930, with most having entered the country illegally. 
A subsequent article said that 1,758 Mexicans had been deported from Laredo in 1929.
92
 
On its editorial page, La Prensa called the latest news about Mexican deportees 
“alarming,” with 12,000 of the expelled Mexicans “at large along the border without jobs, 


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