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A Social Scientist Urges Americans to Give Mexicans "a Fair Chance in Life"

Progressive social scientists, like economist Alvin S. Johnson, disagreed with those who held Mexican and other immigrants as racially inferior an undesirable. Instead, he and his peers claimed that Mexican government and culture were "inferior" and [...]

A Social Worker Calls Upon Unions to Accept Mexican Immigrants

Ernestine Alvarado, of New York's YWCA, sharply criticized Americans who disparaged Mexico and did not welcome Mexican immigrants. She defended Mexican immigrants, calling them "bold dreamers," and castigated nativist stereotypes and unwelcoming [...]

Item Type: Speech
A Spanish-Language Newspaper Calls for an End of "Disagreeable Migration" to the U.S.

Lands and mines cannot produce wealth without labor. Anglo-American mine owners, plantation managers and ranchers recruited Mexican and Mexican-American workers as a cheap source of labor. The western economy depended on the constant northward flow [...]

Foreign Miner's License

With the discovery of gold in California in 1848, men seeking to make their fortunes streamed into the area from all over the world. In 1850, the California legislature passed a Foreign Miners' Tax that required miners who were not U.S. citizens to [...]

Nos creemos americanos: Braceros in History and Song

In this activity students write original corridos (a type of Mexican folk song) based on the oral histories of braceros. Before writing their own corridos, students learn about the formulas and themes of corridos and analyze a World War II-era [...]

A Mexican Immigrant Describes Her Work in Los Angeles

Elisa Silva was born in Mazatlán, Mexico and emigrated to the United States at age twenty, eventually settling in Los Angeles. In this interview, conducted during the mid-1920s, Silva describes her motivation for coming, her difficulties finding [...]

Graph of Mexican Immigration to the United States, 1900-1940

This chart shows the numbers of Mexican immigrants entering the United States between 1900 and 1940, as counted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

A Professor Condemns Mexican Immigration

Mexican immigration to the United States increased dramatically during the decade of the Mexican Revolution (1910-20). Some in the U.S. welcomed the newcomers, while others worried about the effects they would have on American society. This 1912 [...]

Mexican Immigrant Corridos

Ballads are songs that tell a story, often a sad one. Corridos are a form of Mexican ballad that describe the difficulties of life. Mexican immigrants brought corridos with them and even composed new ones that drew upon their experiences in the [...]

Race Relations in the U.S. Southwest

In this excerpt from his book A Different Mirror, historian Ronald Takaki describes the relationships between Mexicans and white Americans in the Southwest. Using quotations from the period, Takaki shows how ordinary Mexicans and Americans [...]


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