Photo: 1931 Forced Deportations Mexican-Americans
On Sunday, February 26, 2012, MALDEF and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes will host a formal commemoration ceremony and acknowledgment of the apology made regarding the massive Mexican American repatriation/expatriation drives of the 1930’s.
The private ceremony, which will be followed by a series of public educational events, will expose the Los Angeles community to the government’s role in the forced removal of 400,000 California citizens and residents of Mexican descent between 1929 and 1944. The commemoration falls on the 81st anniversary of the infamous La Placita raid by government officials, who seized hundreds of Mexican American community members.
Special invited guests include expatriation survivors and their families as well as prominent elected officials and community leaders. Eva Longoria will serve as Moderator. Following proclamations and presentations, a commemorative memorial monument will be unveiled. The monument will be permanently housed at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.
In the 1930s, local, state, and federal authorities were involved in the forced repatriation and expatriation of nearly 2 million Mexican American individuals, disrupting and in many cases permanently separating families. In California, an estimated 400,000 people were removed. This aggressive uprooting involved massive raids and roundups targeting Mexican Americans, even though many were native-born United States citizens. In 2005, the State of California passed legislation to issue a formal apology to the victims of the repatriation/expatriation.