Los Repatriados
Los Repatriados > History > Revolutionary Mexico: Para Los Mexicanos

Mexican Nationals in Mexico were celebrating the end of the Mexican Revolution and were beginning to “embrace a new and dynamic national rebirth.”1 Stories of revolutionary heroes permeated throughout Mexican nationals’ homes. In spite of this newfound pride among Mexican nationals, which had spilled over into U.S. colonias eventually, the return of repatriates struck an uneasy cord with the Mexican government. Just getting over a civil war, the financial resources in Mexico were limited. If the Mexican government turned itself away from repatriates, they felt that they were turning away from their dedicated Nationals who had continued this feeling of pride when they were living in the U.S. Mexico felt obligated.

When the first group of repatriates came after WWI, the Mexican government was forced to not only assist Mexicans arriving and living in Mexico, but they aldo had to pay for the transportation of their Nationals being repatriated. Their stance against aiding in the travel costs would play a major role during the repatriation of the Depression.

During this time, Mexican intellectuals, like Dr. Manuel Gamio, recognized the negative effects that would come from U.S. restrictions to immigration. He predicted that a “repatriation” would happen again leading to poor economic conditions in Mexico. He proposed a government sponsored immigration program in order to get away from Bracero programs. Gamino’s work went against that of nationalist Mexico’s and we never heard until after his death. Other scholars, like Enrique Santibañez, felt that the repatriates returning to Mexico would not being many useful skills to Mexico and that higher wages in the U.S. would discourage workers from returning. His thoughts were not very invasive and didn’t contribute much to the situation of repatriation.

When the next repatriation happened during the Depression, the Mexican government had to face it again. This invoked feelings of “social justice, Mexicanismo, and anti-American sentiment” among nationals in Mexico.2 The Mexican government started to tax these Mexican nationals further prodding at their nationalist ideals. It was easy to point blame of the taxes toward the U.S. This however did not assist in the massively chaotic role that Mexican Consulates in the U.S. would have to play. These consuls could see the lack on government assistance from both sides and tried their best to alleviate the harsh conditions Mexicans were about to embark on for their trip home. Again, the Mexican government could point their finger at the U.S. should any Mexican Nationals or Mexican Americans question this authority. Although the Mexican government could not ameliorate the conditions and situations of the repatriation, they did, however, provide programs in Mexico to assist in colonization.

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