Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s (Paperback)

Francisco E. Balderrama

ISBN 10: 0826339735 / ISBN 13: 9780826339737
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Paperback. During the Great Depression, a sense of total despair plagued the United States. Americans sought a convenient scapegoat and found it in the Mexican community. Laws forbidding employment o.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 427 pages. 0.662. Bookseller Inventory #

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During the Great Depression, a sense of total despair plagued the United States. Americans sought a convenient scapegoat and found it in the Mexican community. Laws forbidding employment of Mexicans were accompanied by the hue and cry to "get rid of the Mexicans!" The hysteria led pandemic repatriation drives and one million Mexicans and their children were illegally shipped to Mexico.

Despite their horrific treatment and traumatic experiences, the American born children never gave up hope of returning to the United States. Upon attaining legal age, they badgered their parents to let them return home. Repatriation survivors who came back worked diligently to get their lives back together. Due to their sense of shame, few of them ever told their children about their tragic ordeal.

Decade of Betrayal recounts the injustice and suffering endured by the Mexican community during the 1930s. It focuses on the experiences of individuals forced to undergo the tragic ordeal of betrayal, deprivation, and adjustment. This revised edition also addresses the inclusion of the event in the educational curriculum, the issuance of a formal apology, and the question of fiscal remuneration.


"Francisco Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez, the authors of Decade of Betrayal, the first expansive study of Mexican repatriation with perspectives from both sides of the border, claim that 1 million people of Mexican descent were driven from the United States during the 1930s due to raids, scare tactics, deportation, repatriation and public pressure. Of that conservative estimate, approximately 60 percent of those leaving were legal American citizens. Mexicans comprised nearly half of all those deported during the decade, although they made up less than 1 percent of the country's population. 'Americans, reeling from the economic disorientation of the depression, sought a convenient scapegoat,' Balderrama and Rodríguez wrote. 'They found it in the Mexican community.'"--American History

From the Back Cover: As the Depression engulfed the United States in the early 1930s, fear and anxiety spread that Mexicans were taking jobs and welfare benefits away from "real" Americans. Local, state, and national officials launched massive efforts to get rid of the Mexicans. Eventually more than a million were shipped back to Mexico. In this book the impact of the forced relocation on both sides of the border is carefully appraised. Mexicans and their children were repatriated indiscriminately because it was assumed they were a costly burden to taxpayers. However, as the authors painstakingly document, few socio-economic benefits were received by Mexicans. Nonetheless, a horrific toll was extracted from individuals, families, and entire barrios due to the anti-Mexican hysteria. In Mexico, the return of native sons and daughters and their American-born children sorely strained the social and agrarian reforms initiated by President Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940) and his predecessors. Prior to this study, scholars had never addressed that aspect of repatriation. By combining extensive archival research with oral history testimony, the authors have created a compelling narrative that blends individual recollections with scholarly interpretation.

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Title: Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in ...
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