The Migration and Assimilation of Mexican Americans
The migration of Mexican Americans has been a long journey. The road in which most have taken is one of sacrifice and hard-work. A road paved with the dreams and hopes, faith, determination, and the forbearance to achieve all that this land has to offer. The subject to be discussed is how Mexican Americans have migrated and how they were assimilated into “American” society. The history of Mexican Americans migration dates back to the twentieth century, which are closely associated to the growth of the railroads and irrigated agriculture. Economic conditions in Mexico caused hundreds of thousands of Mexicans to make new beginnings in the United States in the years from 1917 to the outbreak of the Great Depression in 1929 (Compean, n.d.). Because of the expansion of sugar beets in Idaho, many Mexican migrant workers were recruited to the basin of the Columbia River. An increase in the demand for labor was seen when recruiters for the railroad companies and agriculture started to move out to the southwestern states and the borders cities in northern Mexico because many Mexicans voluntarily enrolled to find employment and a better life in the United States (Compean, n.d.). On the other hand, many traveled to the areas of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington on their own because they received word about work opportunities. However, The Great Depression drastically slowed Mexican migration to those regions, but it did not fully come to a halt. Agriculture started to increase in volume because of World War II coming into place and so the demand for labor also increased. Recruiters, again, went in search for Mexicans and Mexican Americans to work the fields. Thousands from the regions of northern Mexico and the Southwest responded to this call to engage in hard and unceasingly hard work in the fields and orchards. At this time the federal government also joined in this struggle by coming to an...
References: Compean, M. (n.d.). Mexican Americans in the Columbia basin. Retrieved from http://archive.vancouver.wsu.edu/crbeha/ma/ma.htm
Hernandez, Kelly Lytle. OAH Magazine of History, Oct2009, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p25-29, 5p
Schaefer, R. T. (2006). Understanding Race and Ethnicity (10th ed.). : Prentice-Hall.
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