In re Rodriguez (1896)•Question was whether Mexicans white for immigration purposes (1790 naturalization law)•Court ruling: Mexicans appear to be non-white from an anthropological perspective but white because of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Also cited the 14th Amendment’s extension of birthright citizenship.•Demonstrates how racial categories are
In re Camille (1880)•Son of white Canadian father and Indian mother was considered non-white for naturalization purposes. •Persons half White and half Native American are not White•How does this relate to Mexican Americans?
In re Young (1912)•Son of German father and Japanese mother found not to be white for naturalization purposes. •The rationale is that “mixed race” persons are not white. •How does this relate to Mexican Americans?
Hernandez v. State (1954)•Court stated that Mexican Americans “are a cognizable group for equal protection purposes in areas where they were subject to local discrimination…not otherwise.”•Defining Mexican Americans in terms of the existence of local discrimination hinders Mexican Americans in asserting their rights because not every plaintiff can afford the expense of obtaining expert testimony to prove the local prejudice.
Lopez Tijerina v. Henry (1969)•Mexican Americans Attempted to bring a class action suit to secure educational opportunities for Mexican Americans. They were not allowed. The court stated that “Mexican American” was too vague and failed to adequately define a class within law.