Immigration, U.S. Mexicans, nativism, ethnocentrism, historical discrimination, civil rights


A presidential election was won on the strength of a nativist philosophy which asserts that the U.S. must build a wall of separation with its closest neighbor to the South. The current president has voiced not only his frustration and prejudices but the nativist sentiments of the public. The emphasis on “building the wall” and the antagonism expressed towards Mexico have deepened the centuries-old sense of fear and separation felt by members of the Mexican/Latino immigrant group. Can we look at history in search of plausible explanations? This paper examines past and contemporary reasons that might explain the observable antagonism to the Mexican/Latino population in the U.S. today.

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