the great depression

Food handout at Community Chest
Food handout at Community Chest

Food handout at the Community Chest. Caption reads: "Daily scene of those who are aided by Chest Association," dated: Oct. 19, 1931.

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Mexican Workers
Mexican Workers

Mexican workers during the Great Depression.

Earthquake Food line
Earthquake Food line

A food line beneath the palms of Lincoln Park in Long Beach on March 12, 1933

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Community Chest Breadline
Community Chest Breadline

Handing out bread to the needy at the Community Chest. Photograph caption dated November 5, 1931 reads, "Give them their daily bread."

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In October 1929 the stock market crashed and unemployment soared all over the country. Within one year, one in five seeking employment in the city of Los Angeles were not able to secure work.  Even those fortunate enough to stay employed were impacted with shortened hours and cut wages. Many homeowners in Los Angeles could not meet their mortgage payments and many lost their homes. 

 

En octubre de 1929 la bolsa de valores bajó y el desempleo se aumentó por todo el país. En el plazo de un año, uno de cada cinco que buscaban empleo en la ciudad de Los Ángeles no pudo conseguir trabajo. Incluso aquellos afortunados de permanecer empleados se veían afectados por las horas acortadas y los salarios recortados. Muchos dueños de casas en Los Ángeles no pudieron cubrir sus pagos de hipoteca y muchos perdieron sus hogares.

scare tactics
Western Union Telegram
Western Union Telegram

400,000 deportables' jobs for "needy citizens" sent to Coronel Arthur Woods, director of President's Unemployment Commission by C.P. Vissel.

Physcholagical Gesture Pt. I
Physcholagical Gesture Pt. I

Transcription of the telegram from Visel to Doak: To: Doak, Secretary of Labor, Jan 11, 1931 Washington D.C. From: Deportation Squads (illegible) Lawrence of Colonel Woods Officer to Hotchkiss Pacific Coast representative Date tenth. Stop. Our opinion you wire Carr that help from San Francisco, San Diego Nogales will arrive in Los Angeles in ten days (our man from each place will do. Stop. This only a physiological gesture). Wire Carr to expedite all deportation possible with his setup on

Physcholagical Gesture Pt. II
Physcholagical Gesture Pt. II

hand. Stop. This appearent (sic) activity will have tendency to scare many thousands alien deportables out of this district which is the result desired. Stop. John Austin president Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce has duplicate file and left for Washington yesterday. Carr of Immigration Hotchkiss and myself concur in this opinion. Los Angeles Citizen Coordination of Unemployment Relief C.P. Visel Coordinator

Western Union Telegram
Western Union Telegram

400,000 deportables' jobs for "needy citizens" sent to Coronel Arthur Woods, director of President's Unemployment Commission by C.P. Vissel.

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Fueled by the growing nativism and the collapse of the US economy, Mexican immigrants became the target of scapegoating policies that resulted in mass deportations. These telegrams document the communication of intentional deportation of Mexican nationals by the spokesman for the Los Angeles Citizens Committee for Coordination of Unemployment Relief (LACCCU), C.P. Visel and Col. Arthur Woods and the Secretary of Labor, William Knuckles Doak. These telegrams demonstrate their intent to scare Mexicans out of the US in order to create “jobs for needy citizens.”

 

Impulsados ​​por el creciente nativismo y el colapso de la economía estadounidense, los inmigrantes mexicanos se convirtieron en chivos expiatorios para pólizas que resultaron en deportaciones masivas. Estos telegramas documentan la comunicación de la deportación intencional de nacionales mexicanos por el portavoz del Comité de Ciudadanos para la Coordinación de Desempleo (LACCCU), C.P. Visel y el Coronel Arthur Woods y el Secretario de Trabajo, William Knuckles Doak. Estos telegramas demuestran su intención de asustar a los mexicanos y expulsarlos de los Estados Unidos para crear "empleos para los ciudadanos necesitados."

raids on placita olvera

Dressed as civilians, on February 27, 1931, federal “immigration detectives” with the aid of the Los Angeles Police Department descended onto La Placita Olvera questioning people’s immigration status. Many were beaten, and in total, eleven Mexican, one Japanese, and five Chinese people were detained. These raids became frequent throughout Los Angeles causing many to fear going to work. 

 

Vestidos de civiles y con la ayuda del Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles, el 27 de Febrero de 1931, los "detectives de inmigración" federales  descendieron a La Placita Olvera cuestionando el estatus migratorio de la gente. Muchos fueron golpeados, y en total once mexicanos, un japonés y cinco chinos fueron detenidos. Estas incursiones se hicieron frecuentes a través de Los Ángeles causando tanto temor que mucha gente dejó de ir al trabajo. 

Headlines from the Spanish newspaper La Opinion documented the many deportation raids conducted by the county. These raids further created fear and uncertainty for many Mexican immigrants and their families. These newspapers would frequently advertise free trips home to any “foreigners that found themselves without resources.”

 

Los titulares del diario en español La Opinión documentaron las numerosas incursiones de deportación llevadas a cabo por el condado. Estas redadas crearon aún más temor e incertidumbre para muchos inmigrantes Mexicanos y sus familias. Estos periódicos frecuentemente anunciaban viajes gratis para cualquier "extranjero que se encontraba sin recursos."

La Opinion Raid on La Placita
La Placita Raid zoomed
La Opinion Slieron 1,300 Repatriados
La Opinion Letter from Repatriots 1933
Trips at the cost to Uncle Sam