:::::: Abstract ::::::Book Reviews: Chinese Immigrants in Mexico
By Tamar Diana Wilson
Julia María Schiavone Camacho: Chinese Mexicans: Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland, 1910–1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.
Grace Peña Delgado: Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012.
Robert Chao Romero: The Chinese in Mexico, 1882–1940. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2010.
In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in the United States, prohibiting the immigration of Chinese laborers. In 1888 the Scott Act barred the reentry of Chinese laborers who had left to visit China. This type of anti-Chinese legislation temporally coincided with the Porfirian policy of recruiting Chinese laborers in the interest of Mexico’s economic growth. Although these Porfirian efforts began in 1880, it was not until 1899 that China and Mexico signed the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation that permitted the free flow of labor between the two countries and the naturalization of Chinese immigrants to Mexico. By 1910, Robert Chao Romero points out in The Chinese in Mexico, 1882–1940, there were Chinese immigrants living in every state in Mexico except Tlaxcala. Most, however, settled in Baja California and Sonora.
Anti-Chinese sentiment burgeoned at the start of the Mexican Revolution (1910–1917) because—Grace Peña Delgado tells us in Making the Chinese Mexican—the Chinese “were largely viewed as stalwarts of the Porfirian regime” (107). Delgado also brings out that during the Revolution the Chinese sold foodstuffs to anti-Villa forces and helped to dig trenches, set up tents, and provide other services to General Pershing’s anti-Villista soldiers—thus earning them the ire of the revolutionaries.
Delgado describes the ebb and flow of the Chinese from the United States to Mexico after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act and from Mexico …
October 19, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0094582X15604153
Latin American Perspectives
November 2015 vol. 42 no. 6 197-199