Talk:Mexican Repatriation

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Eugenics and Repatriation[edit]

Here I am interested in the use of Eugenics idelologies to aid this particular type of re-patration. Any further information in these regards? I suppose any recent issues about Mexicans in American would also be useful - for example, recent immigration reform and the like. This would be useful I think.

For what it is worth, in my review of the various sources, I've seen very little formal mention of "eugenics"; mostly just old-fashioned racism. But if you want to look into it some more, Decade of Betrayal is probably the source to start with.—Luis (talk) 06:46, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Blatant POV[edit]

This article is written in the form of a rebuttal to an unseen argument, presumably the argument made in the bills in California apologizing for this repatriation. All the elements -- low-balling the numbers of people deported to Mexico, openly arguing that more people were deported elsewhere, deemphasizing the number of citizens and legal residents deported -- work to serve this end.

I'll return to work on this but for now here I'm going to add the POV tag. Here are a couple of useful sources.

  1. Deportation and Repatriation (chapter in book)
  2. Sacramento Bee article on California apology act
  3. USA Today article on same
  4. 404
  5. long article from American History magazine

Msalt (talk) 07:27, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Here is what appears to be a very authoritative and recent source, from Pace Law Review. It sets the number of repatriates at approximately 1 million, and I'm going to update the article's lede to reflect that. Msalt (talk) 22:00, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

POV is also an issue in this statement: "and the acceptance of repatriation idea (by Mexico) with its lure of colonization projects and free transportation." Msalt (talk) 23:30, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Mexico was in the midst of the Cristero Rebellion during those years. The country was in chaos.
I researched the Cristero Rebellion, as an undergrad student under an American professor recently returned from Jalisco state, in the mid-80's. I can't think of anything I read that would support that statement. Mexico, also affected by the Depression, in addition to the Rebellion, was in distress; the repatriates were an unwelcome burden. I also spoke at length with a survivor: an American of Mexican descent who had been repatriated during the Rebellion. He said it was horrific and, as Americans, they were no longer equipped to deal with Mexican culture--outsiders in a country in turmoil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cochran61 (talkcontribs) 03:46, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Certainly the article relies too heavily on this one source, whose reliability has not been established. We can't really use your personal experience and research here, because that would be original research, but we should definitely find multiple sources and reduce reliance on this one book.Msalt (talk) 23:11, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Cochran61 With regards to the Cristero War, I've added a bit of a note adding that it was one more reason for people to go north. On the more general question of whether or not the Mexican government encouraged repatriation, the sources seem to suggest that was a very mixed bag that changed with time: at some points the Mexican government wanted to repatriate (and even provided substantial funds for it), and at other times, as you say, repatriates were viewed as a burden, and even shoved into camps at the borders. (The Aguila article is a decent overview of the history there.) I'd like to say more about what Mexico did, but it is complex and hard to cover, so any suggestions on how to do that are welcome. —Luis (talk) 06:09, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
The Pace law Review article lists these as authoritative sources, which we should follow up. The third is that Hoffman book. FRANCISCO E. BALDERRAMA & RAYMOND RODRÍGUEZ, DECADE OF BETRAYAL: MEXICAN REPATRIATION IN THE 1930S 21-22 (1995). For further analysis of the history of the repatriation, see CAMILLE GUERIN-GONZALES, MEXICAN WORKERS AND THE AMERICAN DREAM: IMMIGRATION, REPATRIATION, AND CALIFORNIA FARM LABOR, 1900-1939 (1994); ABRAHAM HOFFMAN, UNWANTED MEXICAN AMERICANS IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION: REPATRIATION PRESSURES, 1929-1939 (1974)
Msalt (talk) 23:30, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
@Msalt: There is still a lot of work to be done on the article, but I've started cleaning it up quite a bit and added references to several of the articles/books you found. (Most of them are just in Further Reading for now, since I haven't had much of a chance to go through them- enough in the materials already linked/cited.) If you've got a chance to go through what's there and give it another pass, that'd be much appreciated. —Luis (talk) 07:03, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you so much. Life is even busier than usual right now but I will take a stab at it.


"H.M. Blaine “allegedly remarked that the majority of the Mexicans in the Los Angeles Colonia were either on relief or were public charges,” even though sources at the time documented that less than 10 percent of people on welfare across the country were Mexican or of Mexican descent (Balderrama 99)."

The latter claim does not refute the former, since it only mentions the percentage of Mexicans of the total of people on welfare, not the perecentage of Mexicans on welfare. Furthermore the first statement only applies to the Los Angeles Colonia, the second to the country as a whole.

The original source makes this point a little more clearly, but it definitely isn't well-justified in the article as-is. So I've removed this for now. —Luis (talk) 06:56, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Structural issues[edit]

While this article is amply sourced and useful, it contains far too many references to sources (in lieu of footnotes) and also excessive details and subsections. I'll try to work on this when I can, but I hope editors with access to offline sources can take a crack at it first. Coretheapple (talk) 15:19, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

@Coretheapple: I've tracked down most of the sources (through my library for articles and through Google Books) and started a cleanup, so hopefully things should be in much better shape than they were when you gave it a shot. If you want to help out with the main section, that'd be great. —Luis (talk) 06:41, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
I'll look at it, thanks. Been a while since I've approached this article, and frankly I forgot all about it. Appreciate the ping. Coretheapple (talk) 18:11, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Neutrality is a pillar of Wikipedia[edit]

This article violates a key belief that the page reflect a factual neutral viewpoint.

It is obviously written to reflect the pro-undocumented side of the current deportation debate in the United States and just as those sentiments are inappropriate here, as are applying contemporary standards and attitudes to an event that occurred almost a century ago.

I could accept some well documented deviation from neutrality if it supported with facts, and viewpoints from all sides, with special attention to what was the accepted standard of the time of all parties involved.

I'm not at all stating that the writer is wrong in his views, it's just those biases are so strong that they are most appropriate in a book rather that an encyclopedia.

The last paragraph in Raids and legal proceedings is lifted from pro-immigrant attorneys that have found that the current best public argument to further the interest of their clients is to tug at the hearts of fair-minded Americans with claims of dividing families.

During the time of these deportations, other than better earnings, Mexicans enjoyed a lifestyle and quality of life more to their liking south of the border, and hostility and second-class citizen status north of it.

It would have been unheard of for a Mexican woman and her children to remain in a foreign land with the head of the family unit was back home where the entire remainder of the family was. Splitting up the family-init in this manner would have been inthinkable in this situation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paulndaoc (talkcontribs) 00:14, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

@Paulndoc: You're of course welcome to provide citations to alternative points of view, or critiques of specific sentences/paragraphs. The one paragraph you did specifically mention is drawn from a book written by two professors, not from "pro-immigrant attorneys", so perhaps the article has changed? Without more specific critique I'm afraid I can't help you to improve the article. —Luis (talk) 07:09, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Potential image[edit]

Not really very encyclopedic, so I haven't put it in yet, but this might be something to think about in the future. Putting it here so I don't lose it.—Luis (talk) 18:54, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Things to be done[edit]

I ran out of time today, but there is still a lot that could be done. Some notes for myself or whoever stumbles across this:

  1. voluntary repatriation: a bunch of the sources mention that the first wave of repatriations were somewhat voluntary, since there were no jobs (on top of the usual racism). The article about Michigan is particularly good on this. Deserves to get mentioned somehow.
  2. de-focus on LA: there is a lot in here about LA, since that is so well-documented. But that wasn't the whole story. Should replace some LA anecdotes and statistics with others where appropriate, either national or from the Indiana/Michigan articles (or Texas if someone can find that article!)
  3. Trim down: there is a lot in the body that is accurate and cited, but not very encyclopedic: too much detail, not enough big picture.
  4. new sources: the "additional readings" should have a lot of good stuff; I've elevated one or two articles out of there today but suspect there is more.
  5. images: I tried to find provenance for the infamous "mexicans go home" billboard but it appears to be a fake. (Compare fonts in first two images in that search.) I've asked Wikiproject California for an image of the plaque in LA, but otherwise I'm all out of ideas for illustrations. So if anyone has suggestions, go for it.

Also, I can send article pdfs to anyone who wants them. —Luis (talk) 07:49, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Potential thought re the LA focus: maybe, per WP:Summary, that should be broken into a separate article? There's a lot of good information there, just not at the right level of detail for this article, it seems to me. —Luis (talk) 02:31, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
And to follow up on that, this revision has the LA stuff before I started to pare it back and integrate other information. Recording it here in case it is useful later.—Luis (talk) 06:36, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Update: Tackled point #1 (though could still stand to be fleshed out); started doing #2 but still needs more work; doing #3 throughout as I go; no luck on #4 or #5 yet. —Luis (talk)