"Desert Immigrants: The Mexicans of El Paso 1880-1920" by Mario García

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Desert Immigrants: The Mexicans of El Paso 1880-1920 analyzes and discusses the Mexican immigrants to El Paso, Texas. The most western city of the vast state of Texas, a city in the edge of the Chihuahuan desert; a place too far away from many regions of the United States, but as Mario García explains a very important city during the development of the western United States. He begins explaining how El Paso’s proximity to different railroads coming from México and the United States converged there, which allowed El Paso to become an “instant city”, as mining, smelting, and ranching came to region. (García 2)

As El Paso is transforming, and becoming an industrialized city –there is a surge in labor need, as mining is booming. Many Mexicans start arriving in El Paso in search for a better life, one that would allow them to earn sufficient money, to care for their families, and live a higher standard life than the one they escaped in México. However, as García mentions in the chapter: Class, Race, and Labor, Mexicans would come only to find racism, poverty, and inequality in the work place, as well as, in the city that had promised so much. García does a great job highlighting the issues, which were part of the life of Mexican immigrants in El Paso at the turn of the century, through the early 1900’s.

One can draw many parallels from Garcia’s book; at the end of Reconstruction in the United States, many African-Americans, left the South, as home rule, and Jim Crow became part of it many, left for the north, especially Chicago. Thus, making El Paso somewhat of a Chicago for the Mexicans –as many Mexicans were fleeing the many deplorable conditions of a México under the rule of Dictator Porfirio Díaz, an era that came to be known as ...

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...ually inferior.

This book as mentioned before is a great addition to academia; Dr., García’s thorough research, and vast amount of statistics, give new light to the Mexican immigration into the United States in the nineteenth century, As well as the many contributions of the Mexican people in this country. Which has many times been overlooked by scholars, who choose to focus on immigration from the other side of the Atlantic, as the greater contributor of talent and greatness in this country. García’s book not only includes the struggle of men but also the struggle of the many women who sacrificed much, and had to endure even more while working as domestics for many racist patronas. Dr., Mario García obtained a PhD. At the University of California in San Diego, and is currently a professor of Chicano/Chicana studies at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

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