Los Repatriados
Los Repatriados > History > Repatriation In Retrospect: ¿Qué Pasó?

Now that over 70 years has passed since the Repatriation of the Great Depression, there are still many questions about the true story and how justice can be brought to many American citizens.  Increased awareness has made many historians as well as political figures stunned that “anything of that magnitude could have possibly escaped the stern scrutiny of history or been omitted from American history textbooks”.1 Since the topic has remained a “hush hush” topic within the Mexican community t is of no surprise that this period of history is almost forgotten.2  This “lack of knowledge about repatriation means that American society is unaware of its grave consequences for the Mexican community and larger American society, particularly the loss of the generation of potential leaders.”3 So many children had the potential to become something, but their education and lives had to be interrupted.  It was not until the rise of the Chicano Movement did the topic of Repatriation began to enter classrooms of Chicano Studies courses.4

“Piecing together a patchwork quilt of the tragic episode” was frustrating until interest groups began to arise, one in particular called Fronteras Nortenas (Northern Frontiers).5 Through combined research efforts, they have managed to inspire plays, documentaries, and even a website to enhance the sharing of information on the repatriation.  Their next project will be a Midwest Mexican Museum in dedication to all of those repatriated.  As for legal progress lawsuits and compensations have been suggested, but quickly turned down because people feel that current taxpayers should not pay for something they were not involved with in the past.6 In 2004-2005 Governor Schwarzenagger of California signed the SB 670, which was an official apology and acknowledgment and vetoed SB 645, which would have funded further research in the repatriation issue.7Although complete justice does not seem to be in the near future, at least there will still be individuals who are on a mission that this piece of history will never be forgotten.

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