14. Hoover also shifted blame for unemployment to immigrants
As the depression worsened in 1931, unavoidable scapegoats emerged upon whom Americans vented their growing frustrations and fears. In many areas of the country, racism and xenophobia also contributed. Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans became a target across America, blamed for taking American jobs, often at lower wages. A mass deportation of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, including thousands of American citizens, began in 1929. It was endorsed by President Hoover as protection for American jobs, after his Secretary of Labor, John Doak, requested additional federal agents “to assist in the deportation of 500,000 foreigners”.
Several states developed their own deportation programs in addition to the federal effort, an act applauded by Hoover. Following Hoover’s national call for Mexican deportations in 1929, the popular magazine The Saturday Evening Post ran a series of articles describing the racial inferiority of Mexicans. Hoover did not express racist views, declaring the deportations were necessary to protect American jobs, not for the purposes expressed by numerous communities in the United States. Hoover’s Administration worked with representatives of the Mexican government to underwrite the costs absorbed by deportees.