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Forces Behind Us-Mexico Immigration

In: Social Issues

Submitted By synlol
Words 364
Pages 2
The driving forces behind U.S.-Mexico migration from 1900 to 1945 was the necessity of cheap and ‘unskilled’ labor, circular migration, importation-deportation and institutional involvement. What we see in the early 1900s is that the Mexican immigrant population was exploited as a source of flexible, low-cost labor that could be imported and deported freely. This meant that when the U.S. required more sources of cheap labor, they would import Mexican workers and deport them when the labor was no longer needed. This led to this form of circular migration where Mexican immigrants were brought over during WW I when we needed labor and then deported during the Great Depression followed by importation during WW II when the U.S. required more workers due to another labor shortage. This led to institutional involvement from the U.S. Department of State, Labor, and Justice, which formed the Braceros Program. This allowed for the temporary importation of contract laborers from Mexico to the U.S.
I believe that of all these forces, the importation and deportation of cheap and ‘unskilled’ labor played the biggest role in creating and shaping Mexican migration to the United States. What we see with this trend of importing and deporting Mexicans is that the U.S. brings in and removes Mexican immigrants when they are no longer beneficial. This seems to be the primary theme in which Mexican migration was built upon. Mexicans were viewed as cheap and unskilled labor brought in to work in the factories and fields, which can be considered to be undesirable jobs. This is evident with the Barcero Program, which recruited 178,000 Braceros from 1942-1945 and significantly increased the contracts it extended to over 5 million from 1945-1965. In a sense this mirrors the views in which many people see Mexican immigrants today. I believe that this is where the stereotypical misconception that Mexican immigrants are ‘unskilled’ and are capable of cheap labor was birthed. Although this is not necessarily the case, I think that Mexican migration in the past as well as today was a direct result of the government freely importing and deporting immigrants as they please.

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