The History of Latinos in the US – the importance of repealing SB1070

Repeal SB 1070
Repeal SB 1070

Oklahoma City, February 24, 2014 – Several months ago PBS released a documentary series, Latino Americans, highlighting five hundred years of Latino history in the U.S. The documentary starts at the founding roots of Latinos in the U.S. when the Spanish ruled the lands of present day California, News Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Texas, the era of the 1800s, the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s and the present day dominance of Latinos in the entertainment and business industry.

The series goes into detail on how individuals such as Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez brought a union protest that was on the brink of disaster to being one of the most successful peaceful protests that was lea by Latinos leaders to the national stage.

It also details how an East Los Angeles teacher, Saul Castro, sparked a protest in East LA to bring attention to the disparity of East LA High Schools educational system. Apart from the historic movements there was also mentioning of how political figures such as Texas Congressman Henry Barboda Gonzalez was elected into office to advance the Hispanic communities of Texas later on to be criticized by his community for not remembering why he was elected in the first place.

The documentary also mentions how Latinos in the US have faced disparity in housing and education, which apparently is still a common problem of Latino communities in urban cities across the U.S.

The educational system in the US has tended to omit Latino history from US History textbooks. The impact that Latinos has made in the US goes back to the early Spanish towns of Los Angeles, San Antonio and San Diego all the way to the Latino war heroes that played a role on the battlefield during World War II and the manufacturing line.

What is important to recognize is that the documentary mentions no political affiliation or agenda it only highlights the history of Latinos in the U.S.  Although immigration pundits have blamed undocumented Latinos living in the U.S. for the economic problems occurring in the US the documentary does highlight how the US has had a problem with the immigration of Latinos since the 1800s and even during World War II.

The Brazero Program, for example, a federal program meant to bring temporary workers from Mexico to assist in the agriculture and manufacturing of goods during the 1940s and 1960s, ended when the excess of “illegal” workers entered the system thus causing a national firestorm for the deportation of undocumented individuals including those already born in the US.

This directly constitutes a question of whether the immigration system is broken or does the US need to revamp an immigration system that will at least start the process for the proper documentation for the millions of undocumented individuals living in the U.S.


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