Immigrants and Civil Rights

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    Quota System in Place

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    Mexican immigrants in the Southwest

    At this point, most Mexican immigrants lived in Mexican neighborhoods in the Southwestern US where they farmed or moved to the inner cities.
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    The Great Depression

    Mexican Americans suffered disproportionaltely, and many moved back to Mexico.
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    Depressed Wages for Southwestern Farmers

    An influx of Mexican immigrants led to lower wages for farm workers in Claifornia and the Southwest
  • New Immigration Law

    President Johnson signed into law a bill that did away with the quota system for immigration. The law was designed to give everyone an equal opportunity to immigrate to the US. The law did nothing to stop illegal immigration.
  • Cesar Chavez

    Chavez led a strike of the United Farm Workers union against growers in California. The strike lasted several years and eventually resulted in somewhat better pay, working conditions, and housing for farm workers.
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    Latino Population Continues to Grow

    Over 20 million Latinos living in the US. They are among the poorest and least educated groups in the United States, and are further hindered by a language barrier.
  • New Restrictions on Illegal Immigration

    Congress passed a law placing the burden of enforcement on employers by imposing fines for hiring undocumented workers. The law also offered amnesty to illegal immigrants who had been in the US for five years. Illegal immigration remained a problem because it was easy to get falsified worker documents such as a "green card"
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    Number of Illegal Aliens Triples

    The number of illegal aliens reaches 11 million.
  • Immigrant Protest

    Immigrant groups protested potential legislation that would fence off large sections of the US-Mexican border and make illegal aliens face up to a year in jail. Their point was to emphasize that they wanted to pursue legal status and that their presence in the US should not be taken as an illegal act.
  • Bipartisan Overhaul Fails

    President George W. Bush and Senate Democrats worked together to reform immigration policy, but Republicans would not back it.