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Mexican Americans

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Starting in the late nineteenth century until the end of World War II, the immigration policy in the United States experienced dramatic changes that altered the pace of immigration. High rates of immigration sparked adverse emotions and encouraged restrictive legislation and numerous bills in Congress advocated the suspension of immigration and the deportation of non-Americans (Wisconsin Historical Society). Mexican American history was shaped by several bills in Congress and efforts to deport all non-Americans from the United States. The United States was home to several Spanish-origin groups, prior to the Declaration of Independence. The term “Mexican American” was a label used to describe a number of Hispanic American groups that were diverse and distinct from each other (Healey). Between 1910 and 1930, Mexican’s immigrated to the Southwest regions of the United States and began to work as low paid, unskilled physical laborers. Mexican immigrants took jobs as migratory laborers or seasonal workers in mines or on commercial farms and ranches. These jobs resulted in isolation and physical immobility with little opportunity for economic success (Mitz). Mexican Americans were not alone in their struggle to adapt to mainstream America and fight racial discrimination in education, jobs, wages and politics.

By the beginning of the twentieth century Mexican Americans found themselves in situations that closely resembled that of American Indians. According to Healey, both ethnic groups were relatively small in size only about .5% of the total population and shared similar characteristics. Both groups are distinguished by cultural and language differences from those of the dominant ethnic groups, and both were conquered, imp...

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... will once again be forced to look at our immigration laws. Immigration to the United States is part of a shared experience and history which brought together distinct paths Mexicans have taken in an effort to leave Mexico for the American dream. There have been many differences in the methods of incorporation and patterns of social, economic, and cultural adaptation.

Works Cited

Healey, Joseph F. Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, 2010.

Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority. "U.S. Census Bureau Report." 2007. OMH - Office of Minority Health. 3 December 2011 .

Mitz, S. "American in Ferment; the tumultuous 1960s." 2007. Digital History. 27 November 2011 .

Wisconsin Historical Society. 27 November 2011 .