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A World of Its OwnRace, Labor, and Citrus in the Making of Greater$
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Matt Garcia

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780807826584

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807898932_garcia

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Friends of the Mexicans? Mexican Immigration and the Politics of Social Reform

Friends of the Mexicans? Mexican Immigration and the Politics of Social Reform

(p.87) 3 Friends of the Mexicans? Mexican Immigration and the Politics of Social Reform
A World of Its Own

Matt Garcia

University of North Carolina Press

Due to western agriculture's dependence on Mexican labor, thousands of Mexican immigrants came to California and coloniasin the citrus belt expanded. As colonias grew in many Southern California suburbs, racial discrimination, poor housing and labor conditions became a primary concern, and in the late 1920s, debates regarding unrestricted Mexican immigration intensified at the national, state, and local levels. This chapter examines the conflicting interests in the citrus belt concerning the Mexican question. It focuses on the Friends of the Mexicans, an organization founded by women reformers who campaigned for the Americanization of Mexican workers and social planning of citrus growers. The chapter also describes government efforts to impose quotas on Mexican immigration, the issue of forced repatriation, and finally, the resistance by Mexican workers in the 1930s.

Keywords:   colonias, citrus belt, Southern California, immigration, Friends of the Mexicans, repatriation, resistance

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