The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981 Page: 361
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Beginning with an overview of migration in history-from the early
hunter gatherers to the contemporary migrant worker, the authors
discuss the push-and-pull factors, the intervening obstacles which serve
as deterrents, and the friction that comes with the response of the es-
tablished population. This is followed by a discussion of the history of
United States immigration, with emphasis both on the efforts (par-
ticularly in this century) to stanch the flow and on the inherent contra-
dictions which always have seemed to characterize our immigration
policy. Other background chapters treat the history of the agrarian
problems and the green revolution, border industry, the impact of new
energy resources in Mexico, and the Mexican population problem.
Several chapters follow, which are characterized by case histories as
well as by analysis, on the wetbacks, the coyotes who smuggle them, and
the migra (Immigration Service) that the authors find torn between
service and enforcement functions.
Amid considerable information intended to make the reader better
informed and better able to respond to the continuing public debate
on the issue, some unfortunate factual errors have crept in. The 20,000
per country limit on legal immigration was not applied to Mexico and
other western hemisphere countries in 1965, but rather more than a
decade later. The Aztec Eagle is not Mexico's highest military award,
but rather the highest honor which can be accorded to a foreign na-
tional. Green cards do not indicate permanent residence, but rather
define residents of Mexico who may legally cross the border and work
in the United States. Greater familiarity with F. Ray Marshall's superb
human rights record probably would have prompted the authors to
delete their sarcastic reference to the Secretary of Labor's warning of
the prospect of a civil rights movement by the offspring of illegal mi-
grants. Further, while the remittance of the individual migrant may be
a pittance, there are Mexican reports of aggregate remittances to both
legal and illegal workers producing income in Mexico comparable to
that introduced by tourism.
These last two items can be related to the authors' dilemma. They
try valiantly to show that much of the illegal migration problem is a
matter of attitude rather than facts; that the migrants are not a burden;
and that our policy should be a humane one directed to convert what
is illegal into what would be legal. However, they recognize that the
problem is one about which we do not have adequate information and
which is exceedingly complex and potentially very dangerous. They
warn that it could erupt into ethnic strife and produce discord and
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981, periodical, 1980/1981; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/m1/409/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.