Revealed: Things You Really Didn't Know About Operation Wetback

Things You Didn't Know About Operation Wetback
Immigration has been a dicey issue since the establishment of the Constitution. Do we adapt the immigrants and their culture into our own, or keep them at a distance? Operation Wetback was a policy issued to tackle this sensitive issue.
Lettuce Harvest in central California
Did You Know?
Israel had its own Operation Wetback, to remove African immigrants who have been sneaking into the country.
Scarface was one of the most violent movies of the '80s. It showed us the trouble that immigrants go through just to live the 'American Dream'. Although, people scoffed in disbelief, when Tony, the main character, announces he's a political refugee. Our temperament wasn't mature enough to handle the onslaught of people crossing over. We don't care what happens across the border, unless it affects our supply of Canadian Tylenol.

Immigration is a big issue in our country, with one half feigning ignorance, and the other half shuddering at the prospect of the economy taking a nosedive if cheap labor disappears. Our country was built on freedom and equality, then why is it that freedom stretches to a point when you don't have an accent. In 2015, President Obama plans to announce an immigration policy to tackle the issue. But there was a policy already in place, called Operation Wetback, which curtailed the trespassing of immigrants.
The Bracero Program
In 1900, Mexican immigrants started crossing the border in search of work. Although being paid consistently low wages, they preferred to stay, rather than face the poverty back home. To put an end to the situation, diplomatic agreements were reached between Mexico and USA to control the number of immigrants passing through, and the onset of World War II demanded the need of the additional workforce. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho finally reached a truce, and started the Bracero Program.
The Bracero Program started inviting guest workers who worked in the fields and migrated back to their country for the winter. While Mexico was worried that the constant migration of the workers would paint a negative image of the country, US historians pointed out that they were pretty satisfied with the work, and returned home with a new outlook. This actually helped sustain the agricultural industry in America.
What Was Operation Wetback?
Back in Mexico, the government had decided to privatize the agriculture industry, leading to further discontent among the Mexican lower class. Disappointed, they decided to hoof their way across the border to find better opportunities in America. Their hopes were dashed as well, with the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) taking technical tests to determine their linguistic skills, as well as conducting tough screening, due to the Korean War and the Red Scare. A 'wetback' was a derogatory term used to describe immigrants of Latin American or South American descent.

Illegal border crossings from Mexico had grown at an increasing rate. Even after being deported to Mexican cities, they would re-enter the border. In order to save jobs for the American public, President Eisenhower devised a plan to curb this menace. He appointed his West Point classmate, Joseph 'Jumpin' Joe' Swing to commence Operation Wetback in conjunction with the Border Patrol and the Mexican government. Commencing in 1954, the true aim of Operation Wetback was to send the undocumented immigrants residing in the US back home to Mexico.
Facts About Operation Wetback
☞ 300 jeeps, cars, and buses, 7 airplanes, and 750 agents were allocated to this operation. That's less than a tenth of the strength there is today.

☞Over 50,000 immigrants were caught in California and Arizona. Another 488,000 fled the country fearing the threat of deportation.
☞ Mexicans caught weren't released at the border, but put in buses and trains to take them deep in the heart of Mexico.

☞Thousands were put aboard two ships, The Emancipation and Mercurio. The ships ferried them from Port Isabel, Texas, to Veracruz, Mexico. A few of them jumped ship in order to avoid being deported. This caused quite a furor over the safety of the workers.
☞ U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell sought funding to increase the numbers in the Border Patrol, as well as to construct a 150-mile fence across the California-Mexico border.

☞ A total of 1.3 million illegal immigrants were sent back.

☞ The operation had succeeded in reducing the number of immigrants crossing the border, by 95 percent.
Operation Gatekeeper
President Eisenhower wasn't the only one to take measures against the illegals. In 1994, President Clinton announced Operation Gatekeeper, aimed at halting the illegal immigration across the United States-Mexican border near San Diego, California.
☞It added an additional 1,000 agents to strengthen the Border Patrol force.

☞It completed its action in two phases. The first phase involved increasing security at certain checkpoints to stop 'coyotes' from bringing in illegals.

☞The second phase introduced IDENT, a biometric system used to identify repeated offenders. It allied with local law enforcement agencies to aid them in their quest.

Although short-lived, the policy was pretty successful at curbing the menace of illegal aliens.
Despite the outlook towards illegals, President Obama announced that he would take steps to stop the deportation of illegal immigrants. This move could change the lives of 5 million immigrants living in the US illegally. As far as Tony Montana is concerned, he was too impatient and wanted quick money, which ultimately led him to a path of drugs from which there was no backing out. Although everyone associates wetbacks as drug mules or worse, they are only here to lead a normal life of peace and prosperity not found in their homeland.