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It has been 11 years since we have arrived to Los Angeles, California. I can still remember the feeling of when my father had said to us that he we would be moving to a far place to try to find better jobs for my mother and him because with the two jobs my father had and the washing and ironing of other peoples clothes my mom did was not bringing enough money to support my sisters and me and did they wanted to provide a better life for my sisters and me.
Mexico was such a poor country that my parents could not see themselves make enough money to support my sisters and me, let alone see us get a better education. So my parents decide to migrate to the United States with one of my mother’s brother. We arrived in Los Angeles, California on July 16, 1931, with my Aunt Julia and Uncle Fernando. My family and I were so happy to finally arrive to the U. S. to live the “American Dream. ” Soon we would find out that our dreams would come crushing down fast.
After settling down, my mother decided it was time to enroll my sisters and me into school. My mother asked my Aunt Julia and Uncle Fernando what my sisters and I need to enroll into school but since my aunt and uncle did not have any children, they were unable to tell my parents the information we would need. As my mother, my sisters and I walked into the school we could notice all the “gringos” looking at us in a weird way (looking at us like we did not belong there). My mother can right away tell that there was something wrong that we would not be accepted into that school.
My mom was correct, as we entered the office the school secretary told my mother that we were not welcomed there and that if she wanted to enroll us into school it needed to be in a segregated Mexican school. Walking out of the school with confusion on her face, my mother saw an elderly Mexican American woman who spoke Spanish and asked her if she knew the reason we were not accepted into the school. The woman proceeded to explain to my mother that in the past few years many Mexicans were migrating to the U. S forced by the economic and political disorder produced by the Mexican Revolution and were tempted by jobs in U.
S. agribusiness and industry that many Americans feared losing their jobs to underpaid illegal immigrants. Americans could not deal with losing the jobs they had especially during this time of the Great Depression. The elderly woman proceeded to explain to my mother that Mexicans were not welcomed to California or other parts of the country, that Mexicans were discriminated against and that we only had to go to schools that were for Mexicans only, that the only language we could speak in the schools regardless if they were for Mexicans only was English. She read my mother some signs that said, “NO MEXICANS ALLOWED.
” She continued to tell my mother which neighborhoods we could not enter and which we could. If we saw signs like the ones she read for us, then we should be aware that we were not wanted there. After finding an all Mexican school for my sisters and me, my parents thought the hard part was over. I would here them talking in their bed room that as long as they did not bother the “gringos” or got in there way we would not have anything to worry about but they were wrong. Shortly after being able to find jobs for themselves, I began to see my parents worried and listening to their radios all the time.
They had just found out that Mexicans were being deported back to Mexico regardless of their legal status. The news stated that tens of thousands of Mexican families were arrested and sent to jail for 10 days before they were sent to Mexico by train, because of an anti-immigrant campaign that the Americans had done. Those families were not given a chance to proof if any family members were U. S citizens. Families were not given the chance to take anything with them. The news also began announcing free trains rides back to Mexico for Mexican American and Mexicans who wished to voluntarily be taken back to Mexico.
I can remember seeing my mother cry because she said she did not want to return to Mexico and live in the horrible conditions we were living in before. She begged my father to do something so we did not have to return to Mexico. One day my father came home telling my mother that he had heard of migrant work camps established by the U. S. Farm Security Administration, or FSA and that they had a possibility of getting jobs there to stay in the U. S. The camps provided housing, food, and medicine for immigrant families as well as safety from any criminal elements that can take advantage of defenseless immigrants.
We had the possibility of staying we were extremely happy!! Little by little more Mexicans have extended their stay as well as the places were we live at. The most popular places where Mexicans live at now are Chicago, California, and New York. We stayed in the U. S. , my sisters and I are receiving a great education and compared to Mexico, I think we are now living the American Dream!!!! Reference: Depression and the Struggle for Survival. (2005, April 20). Immigration. Retrieved August 10, 2008, from The Library of Congress. Koch, W. (2006, April 4). 1930s Deportees Await Apology. USA TODAY. Retrieved from http:www. usatoday. com.