Mexican Revolution and Immigration

In 1910, the Mexican Revolution began. It was the 20th Century’s first modern social revolution, destined to change Mexico’s society and economy. It would result in a flood of Mexican immigrants into the United States. The choices were simple for Mexicans who opposed the fighting: hide away or leave the country. Many of the Mexican citizens chose to head north, immigrating to the United States. The turmoil of the war, the danger, the economic catastrophe and social chaos surrounding the revolution pushed Mexican natives north. Some revolutionaries and federals fled to the United States in order to plot further incursions into Mexico.

More than 890,000 legal Mexican immigrants came to the United States for refuge between 1910 and 1920. The Revolution had created a state of turmoil to the south, and Mexicans sought the peace of the north. The railroads hired a bulk of the Mexicans for construction and maintenance.

U.S. immigration officials noted that the poor and the sick constituted most of the Mexicans fleeing north. In 1914, during the strongest flurry of fighting in the revolution, the upper class of Mexico began to immigrate in big numbers as well.

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