No One is Illegal on Stolen Land (2)

Lesson 1

This lesson focuses on Mexican migration along the Southern border. Most Mexican migrants came to work on farms in California and Texas. The US even sponsored the Bracero Program with the Mexican government to attract workers. However, once political pressure mounted in the US, the government enacted a large scale deportation sting operation called Operation “Wetback.” In this lesson we will examine how the categories of “illegal” and “legal” are not concrete, but depend on the political climate.





The Largest Mass Deportation in American History

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why did the US and Mexico start the Bracero program?
  2. How did White supremacy (or racism) affect the way that Braceros were treated?
  3. How did “Operation W**back” contribute to the idea that Mexican immigrants are “illegal?”
  4. Do you think making it more difficult for Mexican migrants to enter the US after “Operation W**back” created more cases of “illegal” immigration? If the border was more fluid (it was easier for people to go back and forth) would there be less people who cross using dangerous routes?