Essay about Mexican Immigration Act Of 1917

1712 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 7 Pages
Mexico and United States relations are vastly intertwined however; the major interaction between United States citizens and Mexican immigrants began in 1917. The first bracero program took its form under the Immigration Act of 1917. This act allowed immigrants, under various provisions and expectations, to migrate the United States as laborers in factories, fields, and mining. The Act specifically asked for a tax to be paid for every “alien” who is not traveling with parents and is under the age of 16 that enters the United States (1917). A literacy test was conducted for every migrant over the age of 16 in which they had to read 30 words in whatever language they requested (1917). This test was created to filter undesirables from entering the United States however; it was not required for those who fled from religious persecution from other countries (1917).
Although, there are repercussions to the unequal treatment of “aliens” that result in high fines or/and incarcerations, the first-hand accounts of Mexican immigrants tell of the discrimination they face. One such account came in the form of violence towards Mexicans for taking the jobs of United States citizens. This idea is present in modern society however the Department of Labor’s “investigation proves beyond a reasonable doubt that White men are averse to accepting and refuse to accept (as they have the right to do), employment as unskilled or common laborers” (Romo, 1995). This fundamental belief of ‘White men’…

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