SPLC Thinks The Great Depression Was During The Fifties
September 25, 2008, 03:47 PM
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This from their Nativism In The News feature:
Latino Activists: Reeling Economy Fuels Nativism | Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center Nativism in the News

[CA]

Latino Activists: Reeling Economy Fuels Nativism

San Bernardino County Sun

September 21, 2008

Armando Navarro, coordinator of the National Alliance for Human Rights, expressed concern that economic turmoil will spur anti-immigrant policies akin to �Operation Wetback,� a mass deportation program enacted during the Great Depression.

Of course, Operation Wetback happened during the Eisenhower Administration, and coincided with a brief post-Korean War recession, although that`s not the whole reason for the program. The story the SPLC is linking to gets that part right:
With struggling economy, I.E. Latinos fear deportation

By Stephen Wall, San Bernardino County Sun, September 21, 2008

SAN BERNARDINO - With U.S. financial markets tanking and the economy reeling, Latino activists fear a repeat of history.During the Great Depression, one-third of the country`s Mexican population was deported or pressured to return home. Many of them were American citizens.

The recession of the early 1950s forced nearly 3 million Mexicans to be sent home as a consequence of "Operation Wetback."

A similar economic and financial meltdown could precipitate another massive deportation and removal program, activists say.

"In times of recession and times of depression, there is an escalation and intensification of anti-immigration politics," said Armando Navarro, coordinator of the National Alliance for Human Rights. "Immigrants become the scapegoats."

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This, by the way, is not a story of nativist activism, but of  immigrant enthusiast whining. Armando Navarro [Email] is a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside. a notorious reconquista fan and the whole story is about him complaining.