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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  -­9-­       left Texas voluntarily, in many cases to avoid deportation–were from the San Antonio Immigration and Naturalization Service District. 31 By 1940, census figures showed that the Mexico-born population in San Antonio had fallen by about one-third to 22,530 people, or about 8.9 percent, out of a population of about 254,000. 32 San Antonio, once first in population in the state, kept the third-place ranking it had earned a decade earlier, fueled in part by the Mexican exodus. 33 Background The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 ended the bloody war between the United States of America and the Mexican United States, which is Mexico’s official name. It also launched a new chapter in complex and contested relations between the people of both countries as Mexico ceded one-third of its land mass, including Texas and land that now comprises all or part of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. 34 The treaty, in theory, protected Mexicans annexed into the U.S., saying their legal rights and property would be preserved. They were permitted to opt for U.S. citizenship or legal residency if they remained, though hostility persisted toward Mexicans, particularly in Texas, and many lost property and other rights. 35 As historian David Gutierrez notes, the 100,000 or so Mexicans who remained were eventually “relegated to an inferior caste-like status in the region’s evolving social system.” 36 Overshadowed by waves of European immigrants and geographically isolated, the Mexican in the U.S. lived in relative obscurity until a confluence of late nineteenth century events brought Mexicans and Mexican immigrants to the fore. 37 The development of railroads and irrigation, especially in California, Nevada, Arizona and

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  -­9-­  
 
 
left Texas voluntarily, in many cases to avoid deportation–were from the San Antonio 
Immigration and Naturalization Service District.
31
 By 1940, census figures showed that 
the Mexico-born population in San Antonio had fallen by about one-third to 22,530 
people, or about 8.9 percent, out of a population of about 254,000.
32
 San Antonio, once 
first in population in the state, kept the third-place ranking it had earned a decade earlier, 
fueled in part by the Mexican exodus.
33
 
Background 
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 ended the bloody war between the 
United States of America and the Mexican United States, which is Mexico’s official 
name. It also launched a new chapter in complex and contested relations between the 
people of both countries as Mexico ceded one-third of its land mass, including Texas and 
land that now comprises all or part of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, 
Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
34
 The treaty, in theory, protected 
Mexicans annexed into the U.S., saying their legal rights and property would be 
preserved. They were permitted to opt for U.S. citizenship or legal residency if they 
remained, though hostility persisted toward Mexicans, particularly in Texas, and many 
lost property and other rights.
35
 As historian David Gutierrez notes, the 100,000 or so 
Mexicans who remained were eventually “relegated to an inferior caste-like status in the 
region’s evolving social system.”
36
 
 Overshadowed by waves of European immigrants and geographically isolated, 
the Mexican in the U.S. lived in relative obscurity until a confluence of late nineteenth 
century events brought Mexicans and Mexican immigrants to the fore.
37
 The 
development of railroads and irrigation, especially in California, Nevada, Arizona and 


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