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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  -­27-­                                                                                                                       1 Excerpt from El Deportado, The Deported One, a corrido, or Mexican folk song, recorded by Los Hermanos Bañuelos in the early 1930s. From Mexican American Border Music, Corridos & Tragedias de la Frontera, 1994 Arhoolie Productions Inc. 2 “Un Mexicano Deportado Volvio a Texas Sabiendo Que Le Esperaba La Carcel,” La Prensa, 8 December 1930, 8. 3 “Glosario Del Dia,” Rodolfo Uranga, La Prensa, 17 December 1929, 1. 4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Business Cycle Dates, http://www.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html By December 1929, the U.S. was in the fourth month of a 43-month long economic contraction, according to the NBER, an independent economics agency that is the official arbiter of recessionary periods. Though the business cycle contraction ended in March 1933 many scholars define the recession era from 1929 through 1939 or through 1941 as does Robert S. McElvaine, The Great Depression: America 1929-1941 (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1984, 1993). 5 Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez, Decade of Betrayal, Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006), 67. 6 Repatriation refers to an immigrant (and sometimes U.S. citizens) leaving the country either voluntarily, or formerly through a federal government action to remove impoverished immigrants. Repatriation may also have been organized by local private and public welfare agencies. The Mexican consulate and/or the local Mexican community may have organized repatriations. Finally, Mexicans and U.S. citizens of Mexican descent living in the U.S. may have been forcibly repatriated. For more on the definition of repatriation, see Abraham Hoffman, Unwanted Mexicans in the Great Depression: Repatriation Pressures, 1929-1939, (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1974), 166. 7 Mae N. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 75. Deportation refers to a federal government action to remove an immigrant under warrant proceedings or for the immigrant to leave voluntarily without the warrant proceeding. See also, Hoffman, Unwanted Mexicans in the Great Depression, 166. 8 Balderrama and Rodríguez, Decade of Betrayal, 151. See also David G. Gutiérrez, Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants and the Politics of Ethnicity, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 72, who discusses the reliability of statistics concerning Mexicans during the period and suggests that as many as 80,000 Mexicans and U.S. born children may have been repatriated annually between 1929 and 1937. See also pages 154-155 in Matt S. Meier and Feliciano Ribera, in Mexican Americans/American Mexicans: From Conquistadors to Chicanos, (New York:

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  -­27-­  
 
 
                                                                                                               
1
 Excerpt from El DeportadoThe Deported One, a corrido, or Mexican folk song, 
recorded by Los Hermanos Bañuelos in the early 1930s. From Mexican American Border 
Music, Corridos & Tragedias de la Frontera, 1994 Arhoolie Productions Inc. 
 
2
 “Un Mexicano Deportado Volvio a Texas Sabiendo Que Le Esperaba La Carcel,” La 
Prensa, 8 December 1930, 8. 
 
3
 “Glosario Del Dia,” Rodolfo Uranga, La Prensa, 17 December 1929, 1. 
 
4
 National Bureau of Economic Research, Business Cycle Dates, 
http://www.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html
 
By December 1929, the U.S. was in the fourth month of a 43-month long economic 
contraction, according to the NBER, an independent economics agency that is the official 
arbiter of recessionary periods. Though the business cycle contraction ended in March 
1933 many scholars define the recession era from 1929 through 1939 or through 1941 as 
does Robert S. McElvaine, The Great Depression: America 1929-1941 (New York: 
Three Rivers Press, 1984, 1993). 
 
5
 Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez, Decade of Betrayal, Mexican 
Repatriation in the 1930s (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006), 67. 
 
6
 Repatriation refers to an immigrant (and sometimes U.S. citizens) leaving the country 
either voluntarily, or formerly through a federal government action to remove 
impoverished immigrants. Repatriation may also have been organized by local private 
and public welfare agencies. The Mexican consulate and/or the local Mexican community 
may have organized repatriations. Finally, Mexicans and U.S. citizens of Mexican 
descent living in the U.S. may have been forcibly repatriated. For more on the definition 
of repatriation, see Abraham Hoffman, Unwanted Mexicans in the Great Depression: 
Repatriation Pressures, 1929-1939
, (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1974), 
166. 
 
7
 Mae N. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 75.  Deportation refers to a federal 
government action to remove an immigrant under warrant proceedings or for the 
immigrant to leave voluntarily without the warrant proceeding. See also, Hoffman, 
Unwanted Mexicans in the Great Depression, 166. 
 
8
 Balderrama and Rodríguez, Decade of Betrayal, 151. See also David G. Gutiérrez, 
Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants and the Politics of 
Ethnicity
, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 72, who discusses the 
reliability of statistics concerning Mexicans during the period and suggests that as many 
as 80,000 Mexicans and U.S. born children may have been repatriated annually between 
1929 and 1937. See also pages 154-155 in Matt S. Meier and Feliciano Ribera, in 
Mexican Americans/American Mexicans: From Conquistadors to Chicanos, (New York: 


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