"Even The Women Are Leaving," Gendered Migrations Between Mexico and the United States: Revolutionary Diasporas, Depression-Era Depatriations, and Wartime Bracero Controls, 1900-1950
Veloz, Larisa L.
This dissertation examines how Mexican families experienced migration and binational living between 1900 and 1950. By examining families during this period, a crucial era for the development of family migration and familiarity with the cross-border journey, this study argues that migration revolved around binational family connections as well as the search for labor opportunities. Migrants established vital social networks of migration between their sending communities and adopted homes in the U.S. and women and children were integral to this process early in the twentieth century. By 1920 there was already a diverse group of migrants living binational lives. The economic crisis of the 1930s led to the return and removal of many migrant families from the United States and laid the foundations for a fundamental shift in migration patterns that would play out during the 1940s. With the initiation of the Bracero Program, families were temporarily excluded and replaced by the State in facilitating migration; yet family migration persisted.By focusing on family migration and especially on women , this study not only traces the multiple border crossings of entire families throughout the first half of the twentieth century it also presents an analysis of citizenship, exclusionary border policies, and the separations and reunifications of binational families. The findings draw upon sources from national archives of the United States and Mexico, Jalisco state archives, and from the Mexican National Institute of Migration. Migrant correspondence sent to officials in both Mexico and the U.S. reveals what migrants came to expect from each government, what governments expected of migrants, and early efforts toward the regulation of an increasing and evolving human mobility. Sources including, letters written to presidents, passport applications, border crossing cards, census reports, newspapers and train manifests of migrants returning to Mexico, reveal how migrants organized their journeys, lived in two nations, and how their experiences changed over time. These sources reveal the importance of family migration in the early part of the twentieth century, and foreground a dynamic era of female and family migration before midcentury migration policies shifted the gendered dynamic and rhetoric of migration.
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