Mexican Revolution: United States Involvement--Refugees

Mexican Revolution refugees
Figure 1.--These are unidentified refugees from the Mexican revolution, we believe in 1913-14. , 1913-1914: women and children refugees in tent camp]

Mexicans were the first refugees that America took in, a least in large numbers. There were not a lot of revolutions and wars in Canada. Of course, America did take in immigrants which were a kind of refigee variant. But these immigrants voluntarily came to Aamerica, Many of the Mexicn refugees came fleeing the vioence of the Revolution. Actually there were refugees before the Revolition began, refugess from opposite ends of the social spectrum Some of the poorest refugees ever to reach America were the Yaqui Indians escaping a virtually genocidal Mexican pacification effort. On the othresude o the socail spectrum were affluent Mexicams which opposed Diaz's increasinfly authoritarian rule. The Revolution was meerly the final chapter in the opposition that developed in Mexico over the more than three decades of the Porfiriato. The most prominant refugee that sought asylum in the United States were Ricardo Flores Magón and his brother Enrique. They founded the newspaper Regeneración (1900). They attacked the Diaz dictatorship and squalid conditions of the Mexican masses. Díaz wa not about to tolerate such disent. The Flores brothers had to flee. They crossed the border at Laredo, Texas (1904) and began publishing Regeneración in San Antonio. The uncensored newspaper described the condition of rural and urban workers, the corruption and venality of government officials, the involvement of foreign investors, and the need to end the Porfiriato. Once the Revolution began, Mexicans with little or no resources crossed the border to escape the violence and reach the ssafety of the United states. This began with Madero's Plan de San Luis Potosí, a literal floodtide of refugees inundated the border states. An exile community became established along the border in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. They are best described as refugees because theur focus and national identity continued to be with Mexico. And there was no major novement away from the border. After Madero, the Mexican Revolution evolved into a struggle among rival caudillos. Each of the major contendors had their supporters among the refugees. This was of some importance because the United States was a source of weapons and supplies. All of the comtenders had their supporters among the Mexican refugee community: Pascual Orozco, Jr., Victoriano Huerta, Francisco (Pancho) Villa, Francisco Madero, Venustiano Carranza, and Álvaro Obregón. There were also some among the refugees that supported Díaz and his heirs. They had to flee acros the border when the revolutionaroes seized much of northern Mexico. This situttion continued throughout the 1910s. We are unsure to what extent relief assistance was ptovided. Over this time, some of the refugee community became integrated into Mexican-American border communities meaning that they became Mexican Americans themselves. Others returned home to Mexico once the security situation permitted it.


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Created: 12:46 AM 3/22/2016
Last updated: 12:46 AM 3/22/2016