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A Spanish-Language Newspaper Calls for an End of "Disagreeable Migration" to the U.S.

Lands and mines cannot produce wealth without labor. Anglo-American mine owners, plantation managers and ranchers recruited Mexican and Mexican-American workers as a cheap source of labor. The western economy depended on the constant northward flow of migrants looking for work. El Labrador was one of hundreds of Spanish-language newspapers that thrived in the southwest. In this editorial, published the same year as the Oxnard sugar beet strike, the newspaper described why current immigration practices were  bad for both Mexico and the U.S., as well as the Mexican worker.

The great number of Mexican workers who pass daily from Mexico to the United States ought finally to make both governments open their eyes. There is not a day in which passenger trains do not leave from the border, full of Mexican men who are going in gangs to work on railroad lines in the United States. The Mexican government loses the labor which could make its fertile lands very productive, its mines more developed, its herds larger, and the country more prosperous and united.

This [Mexican government] should be able to develop love of the native land... It should make life easier in the country, establishing colonies where the worker is able to become a landowner--well-organized colonies that are able to make life more independent and the spread of education completely unrestricted.  

For its part, the American government ought to put an end to this disagreeable immigration. The American journeyman is more at the level of modern methods of work. Once invaded by the competition of the Mexican worker who, for lack of familiarity with American money and ignorance of the machinery of the country, works for what he is given, he [the American] will be demoralized, and with reason.  He is made more insecure and his living more disagreeable.  

Source | El Labrador, (NM: Las Cruces, 1904); quoted in American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, Labor and Ethnicity in the American West: The Oxnard Sugar Beet Strike, 1903 (Teacher's Handbook).
Creator | El Labrador
Item Type | Newspaper/Magazine
Cite This document | El Labrador, “A Spanish-Language Newspaper Calls for an End of "Disagreeable Migration" to the U.S. ,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 20, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1552.

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