Mireya Loza: 100 Years of Mexican Guest Workers in the United States

The experiences of braceros reveal contradictions within U.S. immigration policy that render Mexican laborers as necessary and Mexican settlement as unnecessary and unwarranted. The Bracero Program cemented the idea that in modern America, Mexican workers could come in, contribute their labor and expect no avenues of permanent incorporation into American life and no legal protections as workers. The termination of the Bracero Program did not bring an end to Mexican guest workers as Mexicans found themselves recruited for H2 visas. This category of visa was first introduced in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and by 1986 the status was subdivided and the letter “A” was added for agricultural workers. H2-A laborers not only walk in the historical footprints of the braceros that came before them but many are the children and grandchildren of braceros, creating one more link in the century of Mexican guest workers in America. So after 100 years of guest workers policies, do we continue to create an unequal system in which a group of people are only valued as laborers and never given the opportunity of true belonging as American citizens? Continue Reading Mireya Loza: 100 Years of Mexican Guest Workers in the United States

Video: Julie Weise on the History of Mexicans in the U.S. South

When Latino migration to the U.S. South became increasingly visible in the 1990s, observers and advocates grasped for ways to analyze “new” racial dramas in the absence of historical reference points. However, as this book is the first to comprehensively document, Mexicans and Mexican Americans have a long history of migration to the U.S. South.… Continue Reading Video: Julie Weise on the History of Mexicans in the U.S. South

Excerpt: Home Grown, by Isaac Campos

Yet despite today’s typical view of marijuana as a “soft” drug in comparison to, say, the opiates and cocaine, Mexicans of a century ago believed it to be perhaps the “hardest” drug of them all, one that triggered sudden paroxysms and delirious violence. Continue Reading Excerpt: Home Grown, by Isaac Campos

Excerpt: Chinese Mexicans, by Julia María Schiavone Camacho

The complex ties Mexicans and Chinese formed in northern Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the integration of Chinese men into local communities led to racial and cultural fusion and over time to the formation of a new cultural identity—Chinese Mexican. Racially and culturally hybrid families straddled the boundaries of identity and nation. They made alternating claims on Chineseness and Mexicanness during their quest to belong somewhere, especially as social and political uproar erupted in Mexico, the United States, and China. Continue Reading Excerpt: Chinese Mexicans, by Julia María Schiavone Camacho

Isaac Campos: Today’s Synthetic Drugs Provoking New Reefer Madness

Have the recently reported bizarre behaviors related to synthetic drugs been primarily caused by these chemical compounds or by the set and setting of their ingestion? The answer is still unclear, but history and science suggest that anxiety produced by unfamiliarity with these drugs and the accompanying horror stories in the press are probably contributing in some way. Continue Reading Isaac Campos: Today’s Synthetic Drugs Provoking New Reefer Madness

Loveman’s ‘No Higher Law’ gets the page 99 test

The “Page 99 Test” takes its name and inspiration from Ford Madox Ford, who said,”Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” As part of the Campaign for the American Reader, Marshal Zeringue has built a blog based on the idea, asking authors to… Continue Reading Loveman’s ‘No Higher Law’ gets the page 99 test

Battle Without End: Raúl Ramos on the politics of Texas history

Today brings us a guest post from Raúl Ramos, author of Beyond the Alamo: Forging Mexican Ethnicity in San Antonio, 1821-1861. In his book, Ramos introduces a new model for the transnational history of the United States as he focuses on Mexican-Texan, or Tejano, society in a period of political transition beginning with the year… Continue Reading Battle Without End: Raúl Ramos on the politics of Texas history

Today in history: the Mexican Revolution begins

When Francisco I. Madero called for an uprising against dictatorial Mexican president Porfirio Diaz on November 20, 1910, he triggered a revolution in Mexico that would last until 1920. To understand the situation that led up to this event, it’s helpful to take a look at Patrick McNamara’s book Sons of the Sierra: Juarez, Diaz,… Continue Reading Today in history: the Mexican Revolution begins