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Immigration
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1953-1954

Operation Wetback

Concerns around immigration and a lack of job opportunities prompted Operation Wetback, which saw up to one million Mexican immigrants deported.

Slides

National concerns regarding employment for returning soldiers and uncontrolled migration across the southern border inspired the Immigration Bureau to crack down on Mexican immigrants in the United States. Even as the Bracero Program continued to recruit temporary workers from Mexico to fill labor shortages in agriculture, the poorly-named Operation Wetback enabled the Immigration Bureau to arrest many Mexican nationals and deport them. The Bureau claimed to have deported up to one million Mexican citizens that year.