So the Mexicans Are Coming Here to Steal Our Jobs, Part 2

August 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is from the Galveston Daily News, August 25, 1885.


THE NEWS stated some time ago that the cotton crop promises to be large and it is learned that from 5000 to 6000 Mexicans can be obtained at Laredo, provided that responsible and known planters go for them, such as can guarantee, the bankers and others that the Mexicans will be well treated and paid the price agreed upon. To enable planters on the Missouri Pacific lines to gather the immense crop this year, that company has arranged to furnish planters the facilities to bring this labor from Mexico at very low rates to points on and reached by their lines. It will be advisable for planters who desire labor of this kind to send responsible agents to make contracts with the Mexicans and also be prepared to pay transportation for them from Laredo to points they are needed at. When through in the earlier cotton districts in the state, these laborers could be engaged in other and more backward sections, and thus the cotton yield in Texas be made greater than ever before. In closing this paragraph, the United States district attorney for the western District of Texas writes:

Austin, August 17, 1885

My attention has been called to a clipping from your paper hereto attached. The course advised hereto to secure foreign labor is in violation of the act of Congress, February 24, 1883, 48th Congress, second session. Presuming it is not your desire to see citizens of Texas suffer, and that your attention has not been called to the above act, I am most respectfully, A.J. Evans.

THE NEWS is aware that there is a recent law of Congress against the importation of foreign laborers under contract to labor In the United States. But The NEWS has not advised that any planter should go or send outside the United States. Some ten days ago, THE NEWS noticed an item in a New York paper on this subject and in reply to the assumption of illegality THE NEWS suggested, in substance, that if Mexicans should come across the border under no contract, but of their own volition, and be found in Laredo Tex, it could not reasonably be held that a planter who had no hand in bringing them over would be violating any law by hiring them in Laredo Tex., and thence bringing them to his plantation. Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding on the vague impression that planters were asked to pay for bringing laborers from Mexico but THE NEWS has said nothing to that effect and has seen nothing to intimate that any railroad company had proposed to bring laborers on contract from any point outside the United States. Laredo is a populous place in Texas and if Mexicans at Nuevo Laredo, opposite, see fit to cross the ferry of their own accord and enter the labor market, it is their own business, we presume. Nor does that designation, Mexican, as commonly used in Texas, invariably mean a citizen of Mexico The race peculiarities are thus indicated, many of those persons being natives of Texas and citizens of the United States. A certain number work at times across the river in Mexico and so far as they are concerned there would not be the slightest presumption of conspiracy were they in a busy season to return to the land of their nativity – Texas – they not being aliens. And as for Mexican citizens, their immigration, if they come, must be their own free act without any contract to labor. THE NEWS still understands that once lawfully in the United States they are free to hire, and planters are then free to pay their traveling expenses thereafter for a journey within the United States.


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