Dry Heat: Operation Wetback Revisited?

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    The zero-tolerance immigration policy ordered by President Trump and the resultant separation of immigrant families and the imprisonment of children in cages is atrocious and a violation of human rights. Trump warned us before he was elected that something like this would be coming. In 2015, he spoke admiringly about President Eisenhower’s immigration policy and the deportation of perhaps a million Mexican immigrants in the 1950s, which was officially known as “Operation Wetback”.  This operation involved massive sweeps, arrests and deportations of thousands of Mexicans.

  It is clear to me that Trump is using the zero-tolerance policy and the children as hostages to get an immigration bill passed that includes his damned wall! For him to tout the Eisenhower immigration policy which was filled with human rights violations, separations of families, the illegal deportation of American citizens, and even the deaths of immigrants as the answer is ludicrous.

During Operation Wetback, Mexicans who were rounded up in the immigrant sweeps were denied due process and deported not just to the border but into the interior and more southern parts of Mexico to make it more expensive and harder for them to return. They were transported by air, cargo ships, trains, buses and trucks. Many were not allowed to call family and notify them of their arrest. They were not allowed an opportunity to get their personal property. Some were beaten by Border Patrol and many of them had their heads forcibly shaved so they could be identified easier if they returned. Some were dropped off across the border along highways in the middle of the desert with no food or water. Historian Mae N. Ngai reported that she was told by a government official that 88 Mexicans that were part of a group rounded up in 112-degree temperature, died of heat stroke. 

  Trump has promised to deport two to three million undocumented immigrants and build his great wall. He advocates depriving undocumented immigrants of due process. Does he intend to start up his special Deportation Force and implement a harsher immigration policy? If he does, I hope he doesn’t use an ethnic slur to name his project and just calls it what it is, “Operation White Power”!

Author’s Note:

  I have been given the opportunity to express my opinion and viewpoints on politics, national, state, and local issues as well as life in general. I hope to inform you as well as entertain you, make you smile or make you mad. I will use humor, sarcasm and occasionally anger to express my views. My intention is to hold politicians accountable sometimes bringing some heat on them and if my views make you angry or hot, remember that like my humor, it is a dry heat. These opinions are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of Copper Area News Publishers. 

John Hernandez (710 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


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