For many centuries, the United States of America has been a place of common interest for people all over the globe. Many people seek to emigrate from their home countries in search of a better future. Although the latter was a major pull factor, the amount of reasons and circumstances are broad and complex. Sometimes the reasons stemming from individual decisions, other times not so much. Examples of push factors can be seen in countries that suffer from civil war, recessions, depressions, disease, political or religious prosecutions as well as natural disasters which often times are sufficient factors when considering migration. This is why an immigrant’s country of origin is perhaps the best indicator when trying to analyze and comprehend…show more content… My goal in this essay is not simply to analyze patterns of emigration, but to understand the disadvantages of people of color, specifically Mexicans in comparison to people of European ancestry in terms of migration to the United States. I will demonstrate that although Mexicans experienced harsher migrations, the amounts of contributions by them to the building of the nation are vast but sadly times often forgotten.
The experiences of Mexican immigrants to the United States differ to the immigration of people of European ancestry in many different ways. In her book “In a New Land,” Nancy Foner argues that, “in the united states today, as in the past, immigrants are often seen through the prism of race” (214). For this reason, the experiences of different groups of people vary…show more content… In “Harvest of Empire,” Juan Gonzalez notes, “ more than 375,000 Mexican Americans saw active duty in the U.S. armed forced, many in critical combat roles” (103). Also, in his book “Occupied America,” Rodolfo Acuña notes that the contributions of Mexican Americans in World War II can be identified in Los Angeles were “ Mexicans composed an estimated one-tenth of the population, yet accounted for one-fifth of the war casualties” (198). A similar instance is noticed in the Battle of Bataan where “ as many as a quarter of the wounded were Mexican American” (Gonzalez, 103). When looking at these ridiculously disproportioned numbers of casualties in comparison to population size, one can instantly recognize the actual magnitude of participation on behalf of the Mexican people. Another example that exposes this same contribution is the fact that Mexican Americans, more than any other ethnic group received Medals of Honor during World War II. According to Acuña, Mexican Americans earned a total of twelve of these Medals. One those Mexicans being Jose M. Lopez, who received one of these medals for being able to hold off “advancing Germans until his company was able to retreat” (Acuña, 199). Gonzalez notes a similar instance where five Mexicans from Texas were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (103). This shows that the participating Mexicans of World War II were not only