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supplementing this work with employment at better wages in the harvest fields. It has been claimed that the Mexicans are taking the work from the native Americans because they work for less wages, but it seems more probable that the Mexicans are doing a type of work in the agricultural fields for which few others are fitted by desire or strength. The Mexicans in these regions give little trouble to the authorities; they are seldom arrested, and are almost never intoxicated.

A study which was made in Denver in 1925 throws light upon the school problem of these Mexicans who come up from Mexico to work in the beet fields or move out from the cities each summer. This study showed that there were 771 Mexican school children who left school early in the spring or had entered late in the fall. These 771 children attended on an average of 62 out of 145 school days. The majority of these were naturally retarded in grade standing. No doubt all cities having a Mexican population will show a similar proportion of retarded school children. Such children suffer an additional handicap due to the language barrier, and swell the ranks of repeaters which clog school machinery. They also suffer the hardship of not "belonging" anywhere. Families become bewildered and go from one group to another in search of an understanding friend. Few groups or organizations in any of these cities where Mexicans are found have workers who understand and speak Spanish, and interpreters, except in the cities along the border, are scarce. The agencies themselves are showing signs of becoming bewildered.

There is a housing problem in all large cities where Mexicans are congregated. These dark-skinned sturdy people from the land of the Aztecs and the Toltecs are taking the place of immigrants from Europe, and in many instances are the latest heirs to each city's worst housing. They form part of that growing market for decent homes for small-wage families at reasonable rentals which exists in all cities. The most complete study of housing conditions as it affects the Mexicans has been made in Chicago by the Department of Public Welfare. This study showed much overcrowding. Nine Mexican homes had four or more individuals in each bedroom; 28 per cent had an average of three or more to each bedroom; over 40 per cent of the one-family households contained lodgers. The Mexicans in Chicago are found in the older neighborhoods where buildings are more dilapidated and where conveniences are more primitive or are lacking entirely. The Mexicans are displacing Slavs, Lithuanians, and Italians. These races, who are now vacating, took these same dwellings a few years ago from people of Scandinavian and German nationality. Eleven per cent of the Mexicans were living in basements; 84 per cent paid less than $30 a month for rent; and the majority were paying less than $5.00 a month per room. A study made in Denver showed much overcrowding also; seven or eight people frequently occupied one room, and in one instance there were twelve. Mexicans tend to congregate in sections by themselves, but these sections are not so closely defined as the sections where the colored race is found. It has been noted in several

of the cities that Mexican children associate naturally and on the best terms with the children of parents from Southern Europe, but not so well with the northern races, such as the Poles, Swedes, and Norwegians.

Mexican people get into all kinds of difficulties and make big demands upon the staff and resources of the social agencies. About half the work of the relief agencies in Los Angeles and El Paso is with Mexicans. In Chicago, in 1923-24, the United Charities listed 87 Mexican families, of 2.1 per cent of their total case load, and in 1924-25 the number listed was 102, or 2.4 per cent of the case load. In Denver, out of 538 Mexican families studied, 71 were receiving relief.

The Mexicans have a deep-seated cultural background totally foreign to anything found in America. They are slow in adjusting themselves to conditions here, and we are slow in understanding them. All this makes it imperative that we give special attention to their housing and living conditions. They are anxious for schooling and respond quite well to instructions. Our essential task is one of detaching the individual from the mass, which appears to the observer to be so uniform. Each Mexican constitutes a separate problem, to be attacked with a great deal of patience, with all race prejudice and language barriers removed. They are determinists from years of oppression and thwarted opportunities. Always with them it is La gente pone, Dios dispone.

There will never be any sudden incoming tide of Mexicans, such as some people fear, even if all restrictions on Mexican immigration are removed. There are about seventeen million people in Mexico, but about 40 per cent of them are pure Indians, and the pure-bred Indian is not coming up here to labor. For the remainder there is work at home, at wages which are on the increase. Mexico needs her laborers and will, I am convinced, continue to make conditions more favorable for their employment at home. At one time seven thousand people owned nearly all the soil of Mexico, but such a condition no longer exists. The Mexican immigrants represent the more adventurous people of the Mexican nation, and their addition to our hybrid population may well prove to be an enrichment. There need be no real social problem, even if the incoring tide grows larger, if we overcome our indifference and meet them as good neighbors. When you visit the Mexicans in their country the greeting is Mi casa es la suya. Let us greet them with as much courtesy.


Max Sylvanus Handman, University of Texas, Austin

The Mexican immigrant who comes to Texas (and the same can be said of California) has a feeling of coming to a familiar place. The river which e crosses has a Spanish name. Forty Texas counties have Spanish names. Hundreds of towns and cities have Spanish names. When he comes to live in San Antonio,

or San Marcos, or Llano Estacado, or Cuere, or El Paso, he will probably live on Zarzamora Street, or Pressa, or Brazos, or Neuces Street. When he takes sick he goes to the Santa Rosa Hospital. He can go to the cathedral to hear a Spanish sermon. He needs, in fact, to know not a word of English to live from the cradle to the grave. His children can go through life with hardly any knowledge of English. In San Antonio I have visited schools with only Mexican children, and in class after class I have found native-born Mexican children who spoke a very broken and utterly inadequate English.

The Mexican population in Texas, the largest of any state in the union, is divided into three separate groups. There is first of all the group of political refugees, chiefly concentrated in San Antonio. These are usually people of some means and are very well-to-do, belonging to the party of the "outs" who are waiting for a better wind to trim their sails for home. They are a highly educated, sophisticated, and mentally alert group, living among themselves and for themselves, keeping strictly apart from the American community and the swarming numbers of their own kind. This is the group from which Mexican leaders for this Mexican community could be recruited if its members were interested enough in the lot of their unfortunate countrymen. But at home they have never been required to take any interest in the masses, except as exploiters, and since the Mexican masses meant nothing to them in Mexico, they mean nothing to them in Texas.

The second group is made up of the Texas Mexicans, the Texanos. They are the descendants of the original Texas Mexican population, to which have been added the second, third, and fourth generation of those who have drifted in and settled in Texas. Along the border they are very numerous and they present the usual border situation. An exception to this is the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which has been going through a period of great speculative growth due to the use of irrigation and cheap Mexican labor. Where cattle grazing predominates, and on ranches, one finds a good many of these Texanos acting as cowboys, but mainly as members of the so-called "tanking outfits," which supply the animals with water. Some of them own large ranches where life goes on chiefly after the manner of a Mexican hacienda, with never an English word spoken or heard. As long as the Texanos were small in number they presented no very serious situation either to themselves or the surrounding community. But with the tremendous immigration of recent years their position has been sensibly modified. The last group is made up of a large number of casual laborers who have drifted in or have been attracted into Texas as a result of the recent changes in the American labor market. This casual labor group has raised the number of Mexicans in Texas in the last ten years to over half a million, and probably very much more, although we cannot say definitely how much more.

The Mexican immigrants present many of the problems which are found among any other immigrant group, and our experience has been sufficiently wide along that line to make it unnecessary for me to go into details. It is with

the specifically Mexican aspect of this immigration, however, in so far as it is represented in Texas, that I am concerned here. The unusually casual character of a good deal of this immigration strikes us at first sight. No other immigration which has come to us shifts back and forth between America and the home country as does the Mexican immigration. It is not at all a serious undertaking for the Mexican to come to America; certainly not nearly as serious as the undertaking of any other immigrant group that came to America heretofore. This gives the Mexican population a kaleidoscopic character which strikes very forcefully anyone who visits a Mexican community in Texas at an interval of eight months or even less. Texas is the corridor and clearing house for most of the Mexican casuals that are distributed over the country. The government labor agent, who, however, keeps no records of his clientèle, estimates that his agency has shipped out of San Antonio in one year over 200,000 Mexicans. The mere statement of the fact suggests at once the problem created by such an enormous stream of shifting humanity. What becomes of the housing situation in a community subject to such an enormous and ever recurrent dislocation of the population? The single male immigrant makes for the boarding-house situation, where you have overcrowding amounting to disaster. The immigrant who brings his family is the proper tenant for the two-to-three-dollar-a-week corral with one room, a lean-to, outside toilet and water facilities, no furniture, and impossible hygiene. Housing control is out of the question under such circumstances. Fortunately, the climate forces outdoor living during the major portion of the year, and the evil is partly remedied in this matter. Ultimately, however, all this makes for an exceedingly difficult stabilization of housing conditions, amounting to hopelessness.

The second point in this immigration is its agricultural character. We are witnessing a phenomenon which has happened once before in our history, when the German, Irish, and Scandinavian immigrants came as farm laborers and remained as farmers. The difference between this early immigration and the Mexican immigration is that the Mexican comes as a farm laborer and remains a farm laborer, and that of a unique kind—unique for America. For he comes in the majority of cases as a peon. The consequences are very significant for Texas agricultural life. The Mexican agricultural laborer has come to Texas in those parts where the soil has been too depleted to maintain an American tenant farmer paying rent on the land. The Mexican works for less, he can be supervised more easily, and the problem of labor is solved by his working the whole family and living under conditions which the American farmer would not tolerate. Even then his living and working conditions are better than he has been accustomed to in Mexico. The result has been a migration of the white farmer to the city and the concentration of large blocks of land in the hands of white owners who operate them with Mexican labor. In short, we are having a modern plantation system, or a European agrarian capitalism. In other parts, particularly those of recent speculative growth, where immigration


is the chief factor, Mexican labor used to the manner of working on irrigated land has made possible this speculative growth. Without cheap Mexican labor this would have been impossible. The Mexican is also displacing the Negro on the farms. The Negro, because he has greater mobility due to his knowledge of de English and familiarity with the American environment, will not work under

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the terms and conditions under which the Mexican works. He will move to the for city or perhaps acquire land of his own. It is interesting to note that the Mexican farmer peon is not slow in acquiring an automobile. The working arrangealment is the share plan, the white owner supporting him during the winter. The difference between this form of tenancy and the Negro tenancy is the greater control which the white owner exercises over the farmer and the very unstable economic relationship. On a farm in central Texas where there are nearly forty tenants, when a drought came last summer every one of the tenants packed his family and belongings into his automobile and moved off to another part of the state where there was a crop and where he could make a living by picking cotton. One fact in connection with the Mexican agricultural invasion, although incidental to this discussion, yet stands out as of considerable interest. Texas has a number of farming groups made up of Polish and Bohemian immigrants. The Mexican tenant and laborer has encircled these groups and practically surrounded them, but has not been able to penetrate into the interior. The reason is simple enough to anyone who is familiar with Polish and Bohemian farmers. Their land hunger is so keen that they will never let go of a piece of land once they have acquired it. What is more, they will work and dig-every member of the family-and save and skimp, in order to acquire more land, so that every male member will have a forty-acre farm to start his housekeeping and family life.



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This increase in numbers of the Mexican farmer has had some very disastrous consequences upon the effort of the American community to keep up its school system. This is partly because of the gradual moving away of the white farmer with his tradition of schooling and self-help in matters of schooling, and partly because of the concentration of land which will accumulate taxes on him who has accumulated land. The rural schools in many Texas communities have thus been disrupted, and the result would have been even more tragic if the state had not come to their assistance by means of a form of state aid. In other places it has been necessary to keep up two separate schools, one for Americans and the other for Mexicans, entailing a greater financial burden than the community is able to shoulder. In still other places it has worked out advantageously to the American community, by utilizing the whole of the state aid given on the basis of the total number of scholastics, American and Mexican, solely for the support of the Americans.

A further point is the possibility of utilizing cheap Mexican labor in industrial occupation, either under sweat shop or factory conditions. This development is beginning to take place, but is not sufficiently advanced for us to say

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