The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE discusses documentary covering Latinos

By — Leland Moses

Many Mexicans came to the United States in the 1930s to have better lives, SE students learned Oct. 21.

History associate professor J. Joel Tovanche led a discussion on the lives of Latino Americans in the 1930s and immigration history using clips from the documentary Latino Americans. 

Tovanche covered cheap labor, the Mexican depression, traditional views and the reception immigrants received in this country.

“In the 1930s, America had a huge need for cheap labor,” he said. “Companies started advertising in Mexico. They told poor people that they needed them for their farms and factories.”

Companies knew what they were doing was illegal, Tovanche said.

“They ignored the laws,” he said. “Companies rationalized by saying once they were done with their Mexican laborers, they could just send them back.”

One million Mexicans crossed the border before the revolution trying to make better lives for themselves and their families, Tovanche said.

Most of them had been living hard and impoverished lives.

“Many of them were engaging their futures and clamoring to become Americans, seeking to assimilate and be a part of America,” he said. “Even though labor was needed, they were treated very poorly.”

Tovanche said the immigrants were not treated as equals.

“There were growing ideas from Anglo-Americans that Mexicans were undeserving of opportunities,” he said.

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