• Beginning in the 1930s, the United States embarked on a series of measures aimed specifically at Mexicans: 1) The Depression brought pressure on local governments to care for the growing number of unemployed and impoverished. Government officials developed a quick way to reduce welfare rolls and eliminate people seeking jobs: ship Mexicans back to Mexico. This program of deporting Mexicans in the 1930s was called repatriation . • As officially stated, the program was constitutional because only illegal aliens were to be repatriated. Actually, it was much more complex. Border records were incomplete because, before 1930, the United States had shown little interest in whether Mexicans entered with the proper credentials. Also, many Mexicans who could be classified as illegal aliens had resided in the United States for decades. Because they had children who were citizens by birth, they could not legally be deported. • The legal process of fighting a deportation order was overwhelming, however, especially for a
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