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. 98.110.171.75 (talk) 00:29, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

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.


 The problem is that multiple sources all refer as fact to the assertion of that one source. A number that is not the only representation in that source and includes a state office assertion that none were citizens. The argument was that a birth certificate was required to prove citizenship. I find the 60 percent figure to be unsupported and just a zero rigor off the cuff number. A made up number with no statistical process or any other method of creation other that simply being made up.
Reports of individuals indicate that deportation would happen without the ability to present documents. Also reports were made that children avoided asserting citizenship to avoid placement in the government system so it appears that some deportations were improper. But the 2 million and 60 percent figures appear to have no actual research support other than being issued in a politically charged book without any method or primary supporting sources whatsoever. This article should not parrot such shoddy work no matter how many people have also parroted the 2 mil and 60 percent figures. The fact that these figures were created and were not supported by government documentation would suggest that an actual assessment from records would tell a different story. That would sell less books and reduce the importance of the revelations. This was not done in some backwater. It was done in the US where documentation is held in the hospital and by the state. The idea that over 1 million birth certificates are available and ignored is absurd. The obvious conclusion is that the most political hay is made by repeating the first zero rigor source and any actual rigor applied to find proper supported numbers would greatly reduce the basis for outrage. Surely some poli-sci or sociology student would find fertile ground by searching for these ignored certificates and bringing the huge number to light. That this has not happened and indeed we have been treated to contemporary "researchers" who have not troubled themselves to actually do the work of finding actual documents suggests the numbers are false. They are unsupported by any actual documentation or research.
 One politically charged book of the 30's that is self damning as a source as it presents no method or basis and presents conflicting information by the state that it only rebuts with a statement of "figuring" is not a proper source for academic work. For political theater it works a charm. Politically motivated numbers when issued in the 30's without any actual support. As the California government asserted at the time.2600:1700:6D90:79B0:34ED:5B0D:A51D:76DD (talk) 00:15, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Welfare[edit]

"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)

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)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Mexican Repatriation/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: 3E1I5S8B9RF7 (talk · contribs) 11:01, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Comments by 3E1I5S8B9RF7[edit]

Before I start the process, all the sources should be formatted correctly. References number 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 16 and 17 cite books, but have no exact page specifications, which is a problem. Also, the lede should be more clear: what triggered the repatriation? Did the government participate in it or was it just a local act? What areas were affected? All this needs to be corrected and clarified first.--3E1I5S8B9RF7 (talk) 11:01, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

@3E1I5S8B9RF7: I forgot about this when you posted it because holidays/family, but have now come back to it. On the lead, I've rewritten it a bit to tighten/address these points; let me know what you think.
On the inline citations, two points:
  1. Several of these are entire books on the topic, so giving specific pages in the closing References section doesn't make much sense; instead, the article uses :{{{1}}} to give (currently) 70 inline specific page citations. For example, of the 17 citations to Hoffman (#3, which you mention), 14 of them have specific pages, and one of the ones that doesn't is in the lead; similarly of the 28 references to Balderrama (#4) outside of the lead (#4), 23 have page specific cites.
  2. Per What The Good Article Criteria Are Not, not all cites need page numbers; only specific types of claims. I haven't reviewed all the citations (there are a lot of them!) but I don't think any of the ones with missing page numbers meet the criteria set out in the GA rules.
Given those two things, I'd appreciate it if you reopen the review. If you point out specific citations in-line that need page cites consistent with the GA rules I'll be happy to fix them as best as I can.
Thanks. —Luis (talk) 21:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
This was all almost half a year ago, so I don't know anymore. You would need to re-nominate it for a GA article again, first, before we could proceed further.--3E1I5S8B9RF7 (talk) 07:05, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Renominated last night, thanks. —Luis (talk) 14:39, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
I once again invite you to correct the sources into a proper format. The way pages are specified for the books, in the current form, is not GA material. You need to take a look at other GAs: Indonesian occupation of East Timor, for instance, uses ordinary citations for books (example: Schwarz (1994), p. 195; Dunn (1996), p. 53–54; Vickers (2005), p. 166). There is also the second option, the Sfn template, used in this and this article. You can use either one of them, but the sources need to be restructured, because in this form, they are a mess.--3E1I5S8B9RF7 (talk) 07:30, 17 May 2018 (UTC)
@3E1I5S8B9RF7: If there are specific policies or guidelines I'm violating, I'm happy to fix them. But in re-reading all the relevant policies that I know of, I keep coming back to 'what a good article is not', which specifically says "[i]f you are able to figure out what the source is, that's a good enough citation for GA."
As best as I can tell, these citations go well beyond this GA requirement. In virtually all cases citations have both page numbers and links to the source material - that's pretty much as good as can get with 'able to figure out what the source is'. ('What a GA is not' even says you don't have to use consistent citations, which this article definitely does, so again - seems to me to be above and beyond the GA standard.)
Additional policies that might be relevant:
  • rp is specifically documented as an acceptable method in the main guidelines for source citation;
  • the rp template documentation specifically says the best use case for rp is "sources that are used many times in the same article" (precisely the case with the books here); and
  • the Manual of Style (linked to from the GA guidelines) specifically says editors may use any citation method they choose.
Again, if you've got pointers to other policies I should be following, please let me know; I'm happy to make improvements. But I'm pretty comfortable this is within the bounds of the GA review. Happy to take it to the GA discussion boards if you think we should get a second opinion. —Luis (talk) 21:33, 29 May 2018 (UTC)


Article referencing some potential new sources[edit]

Just came across [1]. Putting here so I don't lose it later. —Luis (talk) 11:33, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Mexican Repatriation/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Carabinieri (talk · contribs) 02:57, 19 June 2018 (UTC)


Hi, thanks for your work on this article. There are, however, some issues I think need to be ironed out.

I have some concerns with respect to POV, OR, and SYNTH. I don't really understand why the information about the Mexican-American War and the annexation of Mexican territory is given the weight it currently is. As far as I can tell, none of the sources actually point to this being relevant to the 1930s repatration(maybe the Castillo source does, but I can't find it and there's no page number). The article claims this relevant as a "source of US residents of Mexican descent", but that doesn't seem right either. Let's assume there were 100,000 Mexicans on the territory the US annexed. According to this (I don't know if this is reliable, but I'm just hoping it's not too far off), Mexico's population grew from 6.869 million to 16.032 million between 1849 and 1928 (that is, it grew by 133.4%). Let's assume that the Mexican population in the territories the US acquired grew at the same rate, if we leave immigration aside. Then, there would be just over 230.000 descendants of that original population in the US. According to the article, there were over 1.3 million Mexicans in the US before Repatriation began. Then, based on those assumptions less than 18% of the Mexicans in the US at the time were descendants of the people living in the territory the US acquired in the war. The article seems to be pushing a moral or political point here: that deportation is unjustified because this was originally Mexican territory. Just to be clear, I do think that deporting people is wrong, but I don't think it matters whom the territory used to belong to (does it really matter whether people are being deported from Indiana or California?). But in any case, I don't think the article is quite neutral in this respect.

Another example is "the process arguably meets modern legal definitions of ethnic cleansing". If anything, I think this should say "according to so-and-so, the process meets modern legal definitions of ethnic cleansing". But it should also present opposing points of view such as this. "An estimated sixty percent of those deported were birthright citizens of the United States" This is also disputed.--Carabinieri (talk) 15:03, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

@LuisVilla: We should probably wrap this up at some point. Do you have any idea when you'll be able to get around to this?--Carabinieri (talk) 14:16, 29 August 2018 (UTC)