Mexican Workers and American Dreams

Mexican Workers and American Dreams

Immigration, Repatriation, and California Farm Labor, 1900-1939

eBook - 1994
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Rutgers University Press
"Guerin-Gonzales's special contribution is the link she explores between immigrant experience and the American dream. The towering irony her fine book reveals is how an ideology of promise for others was for the Mexican migrants the justification for their exploitation and, when the Great Drepression struck, for expelling many of them from the country."--David Brody, University of California, Davis

"Based on exhaustive research in U.S. and Mexican archives, this study offers a richly-textured history of Mexican immigrants in rural California. A work of exceptional breadth, especially with regard to repatriation, [it] is a pivotal contribution to Chicano historiography and immigration studies."--Vicki L. Ruiz, Andrew W. Mellon All-Claremont Professor in the Humanities, The Claremont Graduate School

In the first forty years of this century, over one million Mexican immigrants moved to the United States, attracted by the prospect of farm work in California. They became workers in industrial agriculture --barely recognized, never respected, and poorly paid. Native white American workers did not resent the Mexicans during prosperous times, when everyone who wanted to work could do so. But during the Great Depression, native workers began to realize that many of the Mexican workers were here to stay. Native workers, blaming their unemployment on the immigrants, joined with government officials to demand that Mexican workers and their families return to Mexico. During the 1930s, the federal government and county relief agencies cooperated in a nasty repatriation program, forcing half a million Mexicans living in the U.S. to return to Mexico.

Camille Guerin-Gonzales tells the story of their migration, their years here, and of the repatriation program--one of the largest mass removal operations ever sanctioned by the U.S. government.She documents both their efforts to resist and the overpowering forces that worked against them.


Earlier in this century, over one million Mexican immigrants moved to the United States, attracted by the prospect of work in California's fields. The Mexican farmworkers were tolerated by Americans as long as there was enough work to go around. During the Great Depression, though, white Americans demanded that Mexican workers and their families return to Mexico. In the 1930s, the federal government and county relief agencies forced the repatriation of half a million Mexicans--and some Mexican Americans as well. Camille Guerin-Gonzales tells the story of their migration, their years here, and of the repatriation program--one of the largest mass removal operations ever sanctioned by the U.S. government. She exposes the powers arrayed against Mexicans as well as the patterns of Mexican resistance, and she maps out constructions of national and ethnic identity across the contested terrain of the American Dream.


Publisher: New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c1994
ISBN: 9780585178288
0585178283
0813520479
0813520487
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xim 197 p., [8] p. of plates) : ill

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