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The Role of Ethnicity in Californian Labor Camps

The Role of Ethnicity in Californian Labor Camps -...

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California Labor Camps 1 The Role of Ethnicity in Californian Labor Camps The Science of Happiness Professor Golden May 28, 2007
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California Labor Camps 2 The Role of Ethnicity in Californian Labor Camps During the depression era, California labor camps were a popular destination for millions of jobless immigrants and migrant workers who were coerced into traveling great distances to the western United States by the myth that there would be work available for them. Immigrant and migrant workers from Mexico, the Philippines, and the Midwestern US all converged on California labor camps while competing for a limited number of jobs. These divisions established a hierarchy of the ethnic groups and most importantly, kept them separated and misunderstood. Foreign immigrants such as those who were traveling from Mexico, faced hostility as jobs grew scarce. In an identical manner to the present immigration predicament, repatriation movements gained strength as jobs became more and more scarce. Supporters claimed that these immigrants were taking jobs that should have been going to more deserving naturalized citizens. Forced to act by the growing cries of American citizens, the United States government instituted programs to deport immigrants back to Mexico. By offering free train rides to Mexico they were able to return hundreds of thousands of immigrants back to Mexico, voluntarily and involuntarily.
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