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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  -­25-­       papers had similar missions in some chief respects. Both papers covered immigration policy developments in Washington and editorialized about their ramifications for their readers. The Express used AP wires and La Prensa hired its own contract correspondent. Both papers dealt with the impact of restrictions on the state’s economy, though the Express more heavily focused on the labor needs of the state’s industry and agricultural interests. Both newspapers defended the Mexicans’ right to work in the U.S. Washington’s apparent indifference to its friendly “Good Neighbor” policy with Mexico and the rest of Western Hemisphere was another resonant theme for the Express. More than jobs were at stake. Diplomacy and concern for hemisphere friends required border mobility and the acceptance of Mexican labor, the Express argued. The Express editorial staff could see Mexico from their front door. From the Express point-of-view, Washington was out of touch with economic and social reality. La Prensa and the Express both opposed anti-immigrant legislation, showing that economic and regional concerns muted nativist voices, even if they came from an East Texas congressman–Box. The coverage does suggest a U.S. economy divided by culture. The most significant gap appeared between the Southwest, as reflected in both San Antonio newspapers, and the East, as represented by Washington policy-makers, a group both papers considered out- of-step with the fiscal realities of the borderlands. La Prensa’s coverage did differ in important ways. The expatriate-founded paper not only provided news and information like the Express but it also served as a guardian for Mexicans in exile, warning them of government policies–whether U.S. or Mexican– that imperiled their lives in the U.S. La Prensa also more closely monitored deportation and immigration statistics than the Express. More significantly, La Prensa tackled race

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  -­25-­  
 
 
papers had similar missions in some chief respects. Both papers covered immigration 
policy developments in Washington and editorialized about their ramifications for their 
readers. The Express used AP wires and La Prensa hired its own contract correspondent. 
Both papers dealt with the impact of restrictions on the state’s economy, though the 
Express more heavily focused on the labor needs of the state’s industry and agricultural 
interests. Both newspapers defended the Mexicans’ right to work in the U.S. 
Washington’s apparent indifference to its friendly “Good Neighbor” policy with 
Mexico and the rest of Western Hemisphere was another resonant theme for the Express
More than jobs were at stake. Diplomacy and concern for hemisphere friends required 
border mobility and the acceptance of Mexican labor, the Express argued. The Express 
editorial staff could see Mexico from their front door. From the Express point-of-view, 
Washington was out of touch with economic and social reality. La Prensa and the 
Express both opposed anti-immigrant legislation, showing that economic and regional 
concerns muted nativist voices, even if they came from an East Texas congressman–Box. 
The coverage does suggest a U.S. economy divided by culture. The most significant gap 
appeared between the Southwest, as reflected in both San Antonio newspapers, and the 
East, as represented by Washington policy-makers, a group both papers considered out-
of-step with the fiscal realities of the borderlands. 
La Prensa’s coverage did differ in important ways. The expatriate-founded paper 
not only provided news and information like the Express but it also served as a guardian 
for Mexicans in exile, warning them of government policies–whether U.S. or Mexican–
that imperiled their lives in the U.S.  La Prensa also more closely monitored deportation 
and immigration statistics than the Express.  More significantly, La Prensa tackled race 


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