History Term Paper


From the file provided, write the Author argument about Wetbacks that interests you, example the author use to convince the reader, your thought about the argument Ask question or inquiryif something unclear in the author argument



The author’s argument that interests me most is how a confluence of several factors made it difficult for the authorities to differentiate between wetbacks and braceros in their efforts to address the problem of illegal immigration. One of the factors was ethnic-racial relations between the two groups. For example, many of the wetbacks who had crossed to the American side of the border were living and working in the same farm with their relatives who had been registered into the bracero program. Another important factor is that the bracero program itself greatly contributed to the problem of wetbacks. For example, American farm owners preferred hiring wetbacks due to the lower costs involved. Moreover, braceros were always willing to assist their friends and relatives who had cross the border illegally by giving them accommodation as well as information about job opportunities.


The author has also explained how the undocumented immigrants Mexico could easily integrate into the heterogeneous Mexican community living on the other side of the border. The longer a wetback stayed in America, the more acculturated and integrated he became into the Spanish-speaking, ethno-racial community living legally in the United States. Once a wetback settled in the Mexican section of the neighborhood, it became difficult for authorities to identify and arrest him. 

The author has used many convincing examples to explain the fluid line between braceros and wetbacks. The most convincing example is that of the five-member Carmona-Velasquez family, who had migrated to the United States, some as braceros and others as wetbacks. The author shows how a bracero husband could be deported simply for allowing his wetback wife to join him and begin working as an undocumented domestic worker in the United States. Lastly, the only thing that is unclear in the author’s argument is the modalities that the authorities, particularly the INS and Border Patrol, were using to identify, arrest, and deport illegal Mexican immigrants. One gets the impression that these authorities operated through an inefficient system, although the author has not clarified this presumed inefficiency contributed to the fluid line between braceros and wetbacks.

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