Illegal Immigration

  • Treaty of Guadalupe

    The Mexican-American border took shape with the Treaty of Guadalupe, which ended the Mexican-American War. About 45 percent of the land previously known as Mexico was ceded to U.S. authorities, who were happy to claim it under the doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
  • The Connection

    The first large-scale use of undocumented Mexican-American labor came about during the 1880s as industrialists began to construct a railroad to connect Mexico and the United States. The first train crossed the border on August 2nd, 1882, but thousands of undocumented railroad workers crossed the border first.
  • Mexican Revolution

    The Mexican Revolution sent tens of thousands of Mexican migrant workers to the United States, as the economy south of the border changed and the economy north of the border entered a more progressive, worker-centered era.
  • U.S Economy Crumble

  • World War II creats jobs

    Mass deportation opened up job opportunities for desperate non-Mexican workers during the Great Depression, but World War II created millions of vacancies, particularly in the agricultural industry. The U.S. government's Bracero Program attempted to resolve some of these issues by importing Mexican migrant workers to perform many of the duties previously performed by men serving overseas. The program worked out so well that the government continued to operate it until 1964.
  • Operation "wetback"

    The racist term "wetback" came into common parlance after the implementation of Operation Wetback, a 1954 program to deport undocumented Mexican-American workers who did not fall within the Bracero Program's mandate.
  • "Show Me Your Papers"

    The passage of Arizona SB 1070, which allows law enforcement officials who have not been trained in immigration policy to demand papers from any Arizona residents they deem suspicious.
  • Dream Act

    announced that his administration would stop deporting young undocumented immigrants who match certain criteria previously proposed under the DREAM ACT