Summary Of Migra By Kelly Lytlle Hernandez

1036 Words5 Pages

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Professor for the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California, tells the history of the United States Border Patrol from the early 1920 in her book “Migra! A History of The U.S. Border Patrol”. The book details the growing tensions between Mexico and U.S. following the rapid expansion of agribusiness. It features numerous policies that the U.S. tried to enforce in hopes of handling the anti-immigrant and anti-migrant population within the country. Hernandez delivers a detailed analysis of how immigration restrictions impacted the people that lived throughout the southwest. Her emphasis is on the idea that the U.S. Border Patrol served as a powerful instrument that controlled immigrant labor and populations …show more content…

She does this through an analysis of the complex history of the creation of border patrol and the factors that played a role in the development in how the border patrol function. Quite clearly, Hernandez explains her thesis on page 5. She says, “The development of the Border Patrol, in other words, is best understood as an intrinsically social and political process” in which “social anxieties, political tensions, and economic interests” all coalesced and helped forge the Patrol’s identity as a law enforcement agency (Hernandez 5). She explains her thesis throughout the book, discussing how initially the force of border control was used to the advantage of southwestern employers to control the amount of labor in the U.S. Eventually, the border control became a much more political and racial battle. According to Hernandez, it was a combination of economic troubles from Mexico and the United States, drug trafficking, and crime growth that put pressure on the border patrol to develop a stricter immigration system. This ultimately resulted in racial discrimination where Mexican immigrants faced racial profiling, police brutality, and unwanted search and …show more content…

The first part focuses on the formation of border control. In May 1924, the US claimed to protect its interest by enforcing strict immigration laws. However, throughout the 30s and 40s, the U.S. struggled maintaining a stable workforce without immigrants. Originally, Chinese immigrants and Native Americans were the ideal labor force and continued to provide most labor until the late 1800s. Following the Chinese exclusion act of 1882 and the general genocide of Native Americans these populations were not sufficient enough to produce enough labor. In order to fill their labor needs, the U.S. government worked with the Mexican government to encourage immigration, providing access to land, labor, and other resources. This solution proved to be temporary. While at first Mexican immigrants were not the primary targets of U.S. immigration restrictions, due to a combination socio-economic factors, they would soon become the most targeted group of immigrants. The following chapters in part one discuss the growing violence of border patrol. The Border Patrol was fairly new and immigration officers struggled to maintain ethical and fair. During this time prejudice in the form of searches and racial profiling became

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