Mexican American Discrimination
Irving Omar Jimenez
Axia College of University of Phoenix
The Mexican migration into the United States has been dated back to the 19th century. It is believed that one of the main reasons for the migration originated from President Porfirio Diaz’s financial expansion plan. His strategy was to improve Mexico’s image in hopes of obtaining foreign investment. The plan was to construct a railroad system that would simplify the access for raw material from Mexico for the Americans. Three of the states where the majority of immigrants settled in were California, Arizona and Texas. In fact, by 1930, there were 1.5 million Mexican immigrants in the United States (Smith, 2003).
President Diaz’s plan created unhappiness within the country because it caused many lower class individuals to lose their land to foreigners and upper class individuals. This created turmoil because it eliminated the opportunity for them to grow their own crops in order to provide for their families. Mexican railroad laborers were put to work in harsh conditions while earning low wages. The frustration increased to the point of creating the Mexican Revolution of 1910 (Smith, 2003). Mexico’s political issues and unsteadiness induced the migration of Mexicans into the United States.
The illegal migration of the Mexicans into the United States caused them to develop a bad reputation which led to many acts of discrimination. In 1924, The Border Patrol was founded and the immigration status of the Mexicans changed instantly. It was from that point on that the category of “illegal” was born and continues to mark the Mexicans today1. The Ku Klux Klan made it a point to express their negative opinions toward the Mexicans and was responsible for lynching many Mexican Americans between 1848 and 19282. Additionally, newspapers in the 1940s exposed Mexicans as murderers, Zoot suiters, and disloyal foreigners3. Despite the fact that approximately 300,000 Mexican Americans...