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Three Worlds of ReliefRace, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal$
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Cybelle Fox

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152233

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152233.001.0001

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Repatriating the Unassimilable Aliens

Repatriating the Unassimilable Aliens

(p.156) Chapter 7 Repatriating the Unassimilable Aliens
Three Worlds of Relief

Cybelle Fox

Princeton University Press

This chapter details variation in relief officials' efforts to use their own funds to expel destitute individuals from the nation. Relief agencies across the country helped repatriate immigrants during the Great Depression. However, the scale, scope, and character of these efforts differed drastically depending on the target of repatriation. Relief officials both inside and outside the Southwest used their own funds to repatriate Mexicans who requested relief assistance. These officials conducted mass-removal programs, often using coercive practices, targeting Mexicans and Mexican Americans alike, and placing greater emphasis on the economic savings than on the effects on those repatriated. Where European immigrants were concerned, however, repatriation programs developed on a more limited “casework basis,” where the needs and wishes of the individual were paramount.

Keywords:   relief officials, relief agencies, Great Depression, Mexican immigrants, relief assistance, mass-removal programs, European immigrants, repatriation programs

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