A look at the history of Mexican repatriation

May 6, 2016

Throughout this year's presidential campaigns, there's been a lot of talk about immigration in this country. We've heard proposals ranging from reform that would be a roadmap to citizenship, to building a wall between the United States and Mexico.

We've had immigration arguments for a long time, about as long as the U.S. has been a country, and these debates always escalate when the economy takes a downturn. 

When there are labor shortages, we turn to Mexico and encourage immigration. But the moment the economy tanks, we want to send those workers packing back to Mexico. 

Our country has pushed many Mexican immigrants out of the country – even some who were American citizens. 

Maria Cotera is an Associate Professor in American Culture and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Elena Herrada is a community activist whose family was sent from Detroit to Mexico, and she has documented that almost forgotten part of history. 

Cotera and Herrada join Stateside's Lester Graham to discuss some of this history.