What surprised me most about the Freep (the Free Press) article was the following comment:
They say they've seen their share of discrimination, going back to the 1930s, when about 90 percent of the city's approximately 45,000 Latinos -- mostly Mexicans -- returned to Mexico as part of a U.S. government-sponsored repatriation program.
So I looked up the reference to "Mexican repatriation" and found this link at the University of Texas at Austin Website. It appears that during the great depression our government decided to boost the economy by getting rid of those pesky foreigners. Problem number one? Oh, many of them were CITIZENS.
Not that such racist reactions happening during the Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt Presidencies surprise me, but it seems that some of this attitude is mirrored to day. In fact, I see opposition, ala Pat Buchanan, to the President's "Visiting Worker" program to have similar undertones. In my opinion, coming from recent immigrant stock, immigration is what makes this country great! Let's not have, as Kerry would say, a Back Door repatriation program by tightening the borders for those who wish to lead productive lives in America. How about we worry about the criminals and potential terrorists and minimize the red tape for those who wish to participate in our society?
I know that what I have said is reductive and would require a great deal of unpacking to get to a workable solution, but my sentiment stands.