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Mexican Immigration to the United States

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Three Mexican Flags in a Stiff Breeze
Topics on the Page

Current Facts and Historical Overview

The Border

Historical Chronology and Important Developments

  • Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819


  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848



  • Las Gorras Blancas, 1889-1891


  • Mexican Railroad Laborers, 1900


  • Mexican Repatriation, 1930s & 1940s



  • Operation Wetback, 1954


  • The Secure Fence Act, 2006


 Cross Links





Current Facts and Historical Overview

Timeline of U.S.- Mexican Relations (by Council on Foreign Relations)


Time Article about History of Mexican Immigration to US

Photos and information about the US- Mexican Border from National Geographic

Mexican Immigration in the United States, Migration Policy Institute


  • In 2014, there were 11.7 million Mexican immigrants in the United States


    • China and India now provide more immigrants to the United States than Mexico


5 Facts About Mexico and Immigration to the U. S., Pew Research Center (February 11, 2016)

More Mexican Immigrants Leaving the U.S. Than Entering, Report Finds, the New York Times (November 19, 2015)

The History of Mexican Immigration to the U.S. in the early 20th Century, Library of Congress

Uneasy Neighbors: A Brief History of Mexican-U.S. Migration, Harvard Magazine (May/June 2007)

Hoover, Truman and Ike: Mass Deporters? from FactCheck.org (July 2010)


  • Refutes a false claim that 13 million people were deported under these Presidential administrations


The Border


Tijuana, Mexico, right, and San Diego, California
Tijuana, Mexico, right, and San Diego, California


The Changing Mexico-U.S. Border, from Worlds Revealed: Geography and Maps, Library of Congress

The U.S.-Mexico Border: Under the Economic Lens and in the Historical Frame

United States-Mexico Borderlands, Smithsonian Education


  Interactive Map from National Geographic


Historical Chronology and Important Events


The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819


Primary source document of President Polk's Call on Congress to Declare War on Mexico- Includes an annotation about the document to give context to the time period and prior events leading up to the call for war.


 Interactive PBS website about US- Mexican War


  • Many lesson plans and resources to use in classes for themes surrounding the U.S.- Mexican war, including investigations into Manifest Destiny, media's impact on the war and the public's perceptions of the war, songs of the war and the legacy of the war. Includes many primary sources, newspapers and illustrations and videos.



The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)


  • Granted citizenship to Mexicans living in territory ceded to the U.S. by Mexico after the Mexican War



Mexican Immigrants and California Gold Rush




Las Gorras Blancas (The White Caps)


  • A group of Mexican-Americans living in New Mexico protesting against Anglo-Americans that moved into and took their land following the Homestead Act in 1862.


  • Las Gorras Blancas rebelled against the Anglo-Americans that were taking their lands by cutting the fences and barbed wire the Anglo- Americans put up to enclose and claim lands. This poster was created to commemorate this group.


Mexican Railroad Laborers (1900)


  • U.S. railroad companies actively recruited Mexican workers to help build railroads after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act limited the Asian worker supply


  • Estimated that 60 percent of railroad workers at the turn of the century were Mexicans


Mexican Repatriation: Mass Deportations of the 1930s and 1940s


  • During the Great Depression an estimated 1 million Mexicans nationals and American citizens of Mexican descent left the United States (60 percent of whom were U.S. citizens)






 Primary source newspaper articles from the repatriation


external image june-18-1954-p1-normal.gif

Operation Wetback (1954)


  • 1 million Mexicans were deported or departed under threat of deportation


  • Lasted only a few months/discontinued after drownings on ships being used to transport people was protested by the Mexican government





The Secure Fence Act (2006)

Fact Sheet on the Secure Fence Act, Bush White House Archives


  • 700 miles of fencing completed in 2007
    • Estimated cost $2.8 million per mile

Fact-Check: Did Top Democrats Vote for a Border Wall in 2006? Politifact (April 23, 2017)

National Labor Relations Board and Mexican Foreign Ministry Sign Letter of Agreement (2013)

  • Provides access to information and education regarding rights and responsibilities for Mexican workers and their employers

Mexican American Migrations and Communities, Primary Sources from the Library of Congress





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