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miles...Denison, in the north, to BrownsvilleThese two lines embrace a mileage of almost 2000 miles, which will give the readers of the tribune some Idea of the great expanse of territory Included in the state of Texas.[1]

Thus two major economic events, the industrialization policies promoted by President Porfirio Diaz in Mexico between 1876 and 1911 and the construction of extensive railroad networks connecting Mexico and the United States, dovetailed and gave rise to this intricate and massive movement of people. Being conduits of goods and transportation, railroads also provided for the transportation of many Mexican immigrant laborers to the southwest and their work experience and can best be seen in Texas due to its location along the U.S.-Mexican border. Of the two economic events, the expansion of the railroads is the dominant economic force behind large-scale Mexican immigration. But it cannot be fully appreciated without exploring the underlying economic characteristics and events in Mexico that encouraged campesinos to leave their homeland and venture north.

Word Choice[2]  Immigration vs. Migration

 

Before proceeding to explore more fully the catalysts of the large-scale immigrations of rural Mexicans to the United States, the very definitions of immigration and migration must be understood because these two terms have somewhat different implications in reference to the modern movement of people. In Aviva Chomskys book she argues that immigration differs from migration in that immigration refers to the movement of specifically humans over established boundaries of a nation or state, hence the immigration of people from a different country into another can only exist in modern circumstances.[3] The theme of national borders is depicted as a nineteenth century concept; hence immigration can only exist in the nineteenth century and later. Though other scholars use migration, which can be applied to the movement of people it is a general term that refers to any movement of humans (or animals) from one area to another.[4] Since the Mexican immigration discussed in this research paper occurred across the borders of nation states, the term immigration is more appropriate and will be used rather than the term migration except in direct quotations.

[1] The Lone Star State, The Galveston Daily News, January 8, 1890, 10.

[2] This section is modeled after Aviva Chomskys A Note on Terminology in They Take Our Jobs: And 20 Other Mythos About Immigration and serves the same purpose.

[3] Aviva Chomsky, They Take Our Jobs: And 20 Other Myths About Immigration  (Beacon Press: Massachusetts, 2007), vii.

[4] Chomsky, vii.

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