Lifeline Connections


Latinx and Hispanic Historical Events in the United States

Latinx and Hispanic historical events

Mexican Repatriation 1929 – 1936

The Mexican Repatriation was an event here in the United States where the Federal Government began the process of unconstitutionally deporting Latinx people, specifically Chicano people from the United States to Mexico. It is estimated that up to half of the people were United States Citizens. Additionally, some in the U.S. for generations. This event is a cause for anxiety still today for those with Mexican Heritage who still feel at risk of illegal deportation and anti-birth right citizenship discussions in our current civic culture.1

Operation “Wetback” 1954

A federal initiative here in the USA using military tactics to remove Latinx people, including United states citizens from the country by force2. During Operation Wetback, tens of thousands of immigrants were shoved into buses, boats and planes and sent to often-unfamiliar parts of Mexico, where they struggled to rebuild their lives3.

Juan Crow Laws

A series of anti-Chicano laws akin to Jim Crow laws that in some places remain on the books today. The Juan Crow era refers to “the matrix of laws, social customs, economic institutions and symbolic systems enabling the physical and psychic isolation needed to control and exploit undocumented immigrants.” 4 5

Zoot Suit* Riots 1943

A series of riots in Southern California in which Anglo-Americans attacked and stripped children, teenagers and other youth of color, largely Mexican, of their clothes because they appeared “unpatriotic” in their wearing Zoot Suits. During this time Zoot Suits were in fashion for people of color. However, they were associated with the fear that white Americans had for people of color in the area, despite Mexican peoples having inhabited the area well before U.S. statehood, or even U.S. Territory status.6*

*A zoot suit (occasionally spelled zuit suit[1]) is a men’s suit with high-waisted, wide-legged, tight-cuffed, pegged trousers, and a long coat with wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. This style of clothing became popular in African American, Mexican American, Filipino American, Italian American, and Japanese American communities during the 1940s.6

Triggers related to history

Sometimes when you educate yourself on emotionally charged historical events it can cause triggers or anxiety. It’s important to be aware of this and take a break if needed. However, if you find you want to seek help if the heightened emotions won’t go away, we can help.

If you want help with a mental health condition, reach out. There are mental health professionals here to work with you every step of the way and online support groups. Learn more about our mental health programs.


1 – Re-imagining Migration

2 – Operation Wetback

3 – – Operation Wetback

4 – Jaun Crow – Wikipedia

5 – Texas Public Radio

6 – Zoot Suit Riots – Wikipedia

7 – Zoot Suit – Wikipedia

8 – By the Train Loads: Mexican Repatriation Movement in the Midwest, Part 1

9 – A Brief History of the Zoot Suite – Smithsonian Magazine

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