Friday, April 5, 2013
Listen to this NPR story about Ruben Aguilar, 85, a U.S. citizen who was forcibly deported from the U.S. 80 years ago as part of a largely forgotten Mexican repatriation program run by the American government. During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of people of Mexican descent were forcibly deported to Mexico without due process, including many American citizens. Aguilar was born in Chicago but at age 6 was deported with his parents, who were undocumented.
Aguilar later returned to the United Statesand was drafted into the U.S. military. When asked recently how he wants to be remembered, Agular said: "I want to be remembered as somebody got hurt by his country, came back to this country and is going to die in his country."
The Mexican "repatriation" during the 1930s is a forgotten part of U.S. history. Hundreds of thousands of people of Mexican ancestry, including U.S. citizens like Ruben Aguilar, were sent to Mexico in the name of saving jobs and public benefirs for "Americans."