Mexican Repatriation and the Chandler Roundup



The Mexican Repatriation refers to a forced migration that took place between 1929 and 1939, when as many as one million people of Mexican descent were forced or pressured to leave the US. (The term “Repatriation,” though commonly used, is inaccurate, since approximately 60% of those driven out were minor dependents born in the U.S. and citizens under current interpretation.) The event, carried out by American authorities, took place without due process.


The Mexican Repatriation was enacted by President Hoover and targeted immigrants in areas where they were highly concentrated including California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois and Michigan. In a study of 9 of the most widely used American history textbooks only five mentioned the Repatriation Act and only one devoted more than half a page to it. “According to the survey, the nine textbooks devote a total of 18 pages to the Japanese internment issue, compared with two pages on the coerced Mexican-American emigration.”



The Chandler Roundup, also known as “Operation Restoration”, was a joint operation between local and federal law enforcement to round up illegal immigrants in Chandler Arizona. Officers on bikes patrolled the neighborhood asking people who looked Hispanic for identification and proof of citizenship.



“žThe investigations that followed the roundup focused on a set of 91 formal complaints filed by 71 different people concerning incidents during the raid in which they were stopped and asked for papers. Of these 91 incidents, 23 led to arrests; three of the arrestees were found to be illegal immigrants. The other 20 arrestees were a mix of U.S. citizens and legal immigrant, and were eventually released. “All were of Mexican ancestry or Latino and there is no record of any white person being detained in the raid” – Mary Romero





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