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Tough Times, Deportations: Return of the 1930s

La Raza, Commentary, Translated by Elena Shore Posted: Oct 28, 2008

CHICAGO -- It happened during the Great Depression in the 1930s: At least one million people of Mexican ancestry were illegally deported by U.S. authorities who argued that they were a burden on the economy. This chapter is remembered today as among the darkest in the history of civil rights violations in the United States.

History, however, is repeating itself.

Today, as in the Great Depression, the crisis that this country is going through has once again resulted in an intensification of anti-immigrant measures, including strengthening the border wall and the increasingly common practice of raids.

With the exception of immigrant rights groups, no one defends these families. Although both presidential candidates have spoken in favor of immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants who live in the country, in practice they have barely touched the issue because it is so unpopular.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, for the first time in a decade legal immigration has exceeded illegal immigration. The numbers suggest that the time has come to rethink our immigration strategies. We must ask ourselves whether it makes sense to continue building the border wall.

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