The US Mexico Border

Mexico border region is inhabited by many Native American groups who have lived in the area for centuries. 1535 Spain establishes colonial government in Mexico. 1819 Adam-Onis Treaty: U. S. -Mexico boundary established by Spain and the United States. 1821 Mexico wins independence from Spain. 1824 Mexico becomes a republic. | 1846 The U. S. Mexico war begins. 1848 Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in the Sacramento Valley area of California.

By 1849, large numbers of U.S. pioneers and immigrants from around the world travel to the mining area. Many gold seekers set up camps on Mexican-held land, forcing out some of the original landowners. 1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo brings the U. S. -Mexican War to an end. 1883 Chinese labor is reduced because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and railroad companies search for alternative sources of cheap labor. Mexican workers are increasingly recruited. 1890 Increasingly, Mexican Americans work for the railroads.

Railroad construction continues throughout the early 20th century. 1890 Copper mining continues to lure people to Arizona, driving more Mexican Americans from their lands. 1900 Copper, silver, and zinc are found in Arizona and New Mexico; Texas begins to mine salt, leading to further expulsion of Mexican American land owners. 1904 The first border patrol is established to stop Asian workers from coming into the United States through Mexico. 1910 Mexican Revolution begins. Thousands of Mexicans flee across the border for safety. 1921

The Immigration Act of 1921 restricts the immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans. Agriculture lobbyists rally to block the movement to include Mexicans in the proposition. 1924 Largely due to a lack of immigration quotas, more than 89,000 Mexicans come into the United States on permanent visas, making 1924 the peak year for Mexican immigration. 1924 Immigration Act of 1924 halts the flow of other immigrant groups, border stations are established to formally admit Mexican workers, and a tax is collected on each person entering. 1942

The bracero program begins, allowing Mexican nationals to temporarily work in the United States – primarily in the agricultural industry. 1951 The Bracero program is revived. 1953 Operation Wetback: The U. S. Immigration Service deports more than 3. 8 million people of Mexican heritage. 1954 The film Salt of the Earthis heralded by many as a true representation of Mexican Americans and their struggle. 1964 The first maquiladoras are established under the Border Industrialization Program; mass employment of cheap labor along the Mexican border by U.S. companies begins. 1964 The bracero program is finally repealed, and Mexican American labor leaders see an opportunity to work toward unionizing the farmworkers. 1965

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 limits immigrants into the United States. 1982 The largest increase of maquiladoras occurs after devaluation of the Mexican currency. 1994 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into affect, stimulating trade between the United States and Mexico. Massive increases in border populations occur due to the treaty.

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