Refugees and Barrios
There was an increase in immigration from Mexico in the early 1900s for several reasons, the main one being the Mexican Civil War, or the Mexican Revolution. It was no longer safe to reside there. Those who survived the war were convinced that they would lose their lives if they stayed in Mexico any longer. At the time, American visas cost only five cents, so they were very easy to obtain. Seeing that America was in a much better condition than Mexico, many left to start a new life. In the early 1900s, Mexico was in an economic depression and the Mexican Revolution was in full swing. It began in 1910 and sought to abolish dictatorship in Mexico. Following its start, 250,000 Mexican immigrants fled across the northern border to escape the poverty and turmoil that had now engulfed their homeland. These immigrants left Mexico in search of a better life, and they often worked at large US farms. Though they worked long hours for minimal pay and were the object of harsh racial discrimination, it was considered better than life in Mexico.
Most Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who lived in the barrios were poorer than those living in Anglo neighborhoods. The living conditions were dirty and run-down, and the barrios continued to increase in size with new immigrants moving in every week. Most people of Mexican descent who were born in the US did not accept Mexican culture and were eager to accept Anglo society. Pochos or Chicanos who fled Mexico to come to the US felt as if they were superior to Anglos in America and were embarrassed by the lack of knowledge of Anglo culture that the Chicanos possessed. In response to the Chicanos, they felt that their homeland was not Mexico, but instead the US. They believed Pochos was the middle ground between Mexico and the US.