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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  -­23-­       Civil Rights and School Children For Mexicans that remained, there was at least one victory, according to La Prensa’s March 26, 1930, edition. The League of United Latin American Citizens, the Association of Latin American Parents and Teachers and other groups, won a court ruling that forced the Del Rio public schools to desegregate and admit Mexican students. But the youngest Mexicans did not escape deportation. More than 500 pupils were deported en masse from county schools in El Paso, La Prensa reported in a page one story March 27, 1930. La Prensa’s El Paso correspondent interviewed a number of parents of the deported children, many of whom had been long-time residents. They had arrived before current immigration laws were enacted and were either not aware or had forgotten that they needed to register their children’s birth with U.S. authorities. 100 The deportations had an impact on El Paso classrooms relatively quickly, with La Prensa reporting 7 percent fewer students in the county public schools by March 30, 1930. Some members of the Mexican community were said to wonder whether educational authorities shared information from a school conducted census under a “secret agreement” with immigration officials or were obeying a plan designed by “high circles in Washington, D.C. to intensify…their deportation campaign aimed at all foreigners, especially Mexicans.” 101 Many Mexicans continued to leave on their own, including a group of 42 families, amounting to more than 200 people that La Prensa reported left Phoenix, Arizona, intending to resettle in Sonora, Mexico. In Arizona, the Maricopa County Agricultural Chamber of Commerce said the exodus would “have a considerable effect on Arizona’s commercial and agricultural interest for which Mexicans were indispensable.” 102

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  -­23-­  
 
 
Civil Rights and School Children 
For Mexicans that remained, there was at least one victory, according to La 
Prensa’s March 26, 1930, edition. The League of United Latin American Citizens, the 
Association of Latin American Parents and Teachers and other groups, won a court ruling 
that forced the Del Rio public schools to desegregate and admit Mexican students. But 
the youngest Mexicans did not escape deportation. More than 500 pupils were deported 
en masse from county schools in El Paso, La Prensa reported in a page one story March 
27, 1930. La Prensa’s El Paso correspondent interviewed a number of parents of the 
deported children, many of whom had been long-time residents. They had arrived before 
current immigration laws were enacted and were either not aware or had forgotten that 
they needed to register their children’s birth with U.S. authorities.
100
 
The deportations had an impact on El Paso classrooms relatively quickly, with La 
Prensa reporting 7 percent fewer students in the county public schools by March 30, 
1930. Some members of the Mexican community were said to wonder whether 
educational authorities shared information from a school conducted census under a 
“secret agreement” with immigration officials or were obeying a plan designed by “high 
circles in Washington, D.C. to intensify…their deportation campaign aimed at all 
foreigners, especially Mexicans.”
101
  
Many Mexicans continued to leave on their own, including a group of 42 families, 
amounting to more than 200 people that La Prensa reported left Phoenix, Arizona, 
intending to resettle in Sonora, Mexico. In Arizona, the Maricopa County Agricultural 
Chamber of Commerce said the exodus would “have a considerable effect on Arizona’s 
commercial and agricultural interest for which Mexicans were indispensable.”
102
 


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