The Mexican-American Deportation and Repatriation

During the 1930s, tens of thousands, and possibly more than 400,000, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were pressured — through raids and job denials — to leave the United States during the Depression after the stock market crashed in 1929. This deportation was enforced without due process.

Officials staged well-publicized raids in public places. For example, on Feb. 26, 1931, immigration officials suddenly closed off La Placita, a square near Olvera Street and about 1.4 miles north of Azusa Street, and questioned the roughly 400 people there about their legal status.

By 1930, the U.S. Census counted 1.42 million people of Mexican ancestry, and 805,535 of them were U.S. born, up from 700,541 in 1920.