The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate. (September 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
"No Dogs, Negroes, Mexicans" was a policy enforced by the Lonestar Restaurant Association throughout Texas.

Anti-Mexican sentiment, is prejudice, fear, discrimination, or hatred towards Mexico and people of Mexican descent, Mexican culture and/or Mexican Spanish. It is most commonly found in the United States.

Its origins in the United States date back to the Mexican and American Wars of Independence and the struggle over the disputed Southwestern territories. That struggle would eventually lead to the Mexican–American War in which the defeat of Mexico caused a great loss of territory. In the 20th century, anti-Mexican sentiment continued to grow after the Zimmermann Telegram, an incident between the Mexican government and the German Empire during World War I.[1]

Throughout US history, negative stereotypes have circulated regarding Mexicans[2] and often reflected in film and other media.[3]


The hanging of Josefa Segovia (Juanita) in Downieville 1851. In complete disregard of her identity, she came to be known as "Juanita" after her death, a stereotypical name for a Mexican woman.

As the result of the Texas Revolution and Texas Annexation, the US inherited the Republic of Texas's border disputes with Mexico, which led to the eruption of the Mexican–American War (1846–1848). After the defeat of Mexico, it was forced to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty required Mexico to cede almost half its land to the United States in exchange for 15 million dollars but also guaranteed that Mexican citizens living in ceded lands would retain full property rights and be granted US citizenship if they remained in the ceded lands for at least one year.[4] The treaty and others led to the establishment in 1889 of the International Boundary and Water Commission, which was tasked with maintaining the border, allocating river waters between the two nations, and providing for flood control and water sanitation.[5]

The lynching of Mexicans in the Southwest has long been overlooked in US history.[6] That may be because the Tuskegee Institute files and reports, which contain the most comprehensive lynching records in the US, categorized Mexican, Chinese, and Native American lynching victims as white.[7] Statistics of reported lynching in the United States indicate that between 1882 and 1951, 4,730 persons were lynched, 1,293 of whom were white and 3,437 black.[8] The actual number of Mexicans lynched is unknown. William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb estimate that between 1848 and 1928, at least 597 Mexicans were lynched,[7] of which 64 in areas that lacked a formal judicial system.[7] One particularly infamous lynching occurred on July 5, 1851, when a Mexican woman, Josefa Segovia, was lynched by a mob in Downieville, California. She was accused of killing a man who had attempted to assault her after he had broken into her home.[9]

Law enforcement conducted a considerable amount of these murders; therefore, the malefactors seldom stood trial for lynching Mexican people. Mexicans were lynched for various reasons such as job competition, speaking Spanish too loudly in a public setting, romantically advancing towards white women, reminding the Anglo system of the cultural difference, and much more.[10]


See also: 1917 Bath riots

The Bisbee Deportation was the illegal deportation of about 1,300 striking mine workers, supporters, and citizen bystanders by 2,000 vigilantes on July 12, 1917. The workers and others were kidnapped in the town of Bisbee, Arizona, and held at a local baseball park. They were then loaded onto cattle cars and transported 200 miles (320 km) for 16 hours through the desert without food or water. The deportees were unloaded at Hermanas, New Mexico, without money or transportation and were warned not to return to Bisbee.[11]

See also: La Matanza (1910–1920)

In 1911, a mob of over 100 people hanged a 14-year-old boy, Antonio Gómez, after he was arrested for murder. Rather than let him serve time in jail, townspeople lynched him and dragged his body through the streets of Thorndale, Texas.

Between 1910 and 1919, Texas Rangers were responsible for the deaths of hundreds to thousands of ethnic Mexicans in South Texas.[12][13] The violence continued through the Porvenir Massacre on January 28, 1918, when Texas Rangers summarily executed 15 Mexicans in Presidio County, Texas.[12] This caused State Representative José Canales to head an investigation into systematic violence against Mexicans by the Texas Rangers, which largely ended the pattern of violence and led to the dismissal of five rangers involved in the massacre.[14]


The Mexican community (most having been on their land since before the Mex/American war and granted citizenship after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed) has been the subject of widespread immigration raids. During the Great Depression, the US government sponsored Mexican Repatriation programs, which were intended to pressure people to move to Mexico, but many were deported against their will. 355,000 to 500,000 individuals were repatriated or deported; 40 to 60% of them US citizens - overwhelmingly children.[15][16][17][18] In 1936, Colorado even ordered all of its "Mexicans," in reality, anyone who spoke Spanish or seemed to be of Latin descent, to leave the state, and it blockaded its southern border to keep people from leaving. Though no formal decree was ever issued by immigration authorities, Immigration and Naturalization Service officials helped the expulsions.


See also: Mendez v. Westminster and Zoot Suit Riots

The Zoot Suit Riots were a series of racial attacks in June 1943 in Los Angeles, California, between Mexican youths and European American servicemen stationed in Southern California.

According to the National World War II Museum, between 250,000 and 500,000 Mexicans served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II and comprised 2.3% to 4.7% of the Army. The exact number, however, is unknown as Hispanics were then classified as whites. Generally, Mexican World War II servicemen were integrated into regular military units. However, many Mexican War veterans were discriminated against and even denied medical services by the US Department of Veterans Affairs when they arrived home.[19] In 1948, the war veteran Dr Hector P. Garcia founded the American GI Forum (AGIF) to address the concerns of Mexican veterans who were being discriminated. The AGIF's first campaign was on the behalf of Felix Longoria, a Mexican private who was killed in the Philippines in the line of duty. Upon the return of his body to his hometown of Three Rivers, Texas, he was denied funeral services because he was Mexican.

In the 1940s, imagery in newspapers and crime novels portrayed Mexican zoot suiters as disloyal foreigners or murderers attacking non-Hispanic white police officers and servicemen. Opposition to zoot suiters sparked a series of attacks on young Mexican males in Los Angeles, which became known as the Zoot Suit Riots. The worst of the riots occurred on June 9, 1943 during which 5,000 servicemen and residents gathered in Downtown Los Angeles and attacked Mexicans, only some of whom were zoot suiters.[20][21]

In Orange County, California, Mexican school children were subject to racial segregation in the public school system and forced to attend "Mexican schools." In 1947, Mendez v. Westminster was a ruling that declared that segregating children of "Mexican and Latin descent" in state-operated public schools in Orange County was unconstitutional. Mendez was later revealed to be a neo-Nazi. That helped lay the foundation for the landmark Brown v Board of Education, a case that ended racial segregation in the public schools.[22]


See also: Battle of Chavez Ravine, United Farm Workers, and East L.A. walkouts

In many counties in the southwestern United States, Mexicans were not selected as jurors in court cases that involved a Mexicans defendant.[23] In 1954, Pete Hernandez, an agricultural worker, was indicted of murder by a jury that was all non-Hispanic white in Jackson County, Texas. Hernandez believed that the jury could not be impartial unless members of other races were allowed on the jury-selecting committees and noted a Mexican had not been on a jury for more than 25 years in that particular county. Hernandez and his lawyers decided to take the case to the US Supreme Court. The Hernandez v. Texas ruling declared that illegal Mexicans and other cultural groups in the United States are entitled to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.[24]

Many organizations, businesses, and homeowners associations had official policies to exclude Mexicans. In many areas across the Southwest, Mexicans lived in separate residential areas because of laws and real estate company policies. The group of laws and policies, known as redlining, lasted until the 1950s and fell under the concept of official segregation.[25][26][27]


One of the most vicious cases occurred at the U.S.-Mexico border west of Douglas, Arizona, on August 18, 1976, when three Mexican campesinos who had crossed the border illegally, were attacked while they were crossing a ranch belonging to Douglas dairyman George Hanigan. The three were kidnapped, stripped, hogtied, and had their feet burned before they were cut loose and told to run back to Mexico. As the three men ran, the Hanigans shot birdshot into their backs. The three made it back across the border to Agua Prieta, Sonora, where the local police notified the Mexican consulate in Douglas, which lodged formal complaints against George Hanigan and his two sons.[28] George Hanigan died of a heart attack at the age of 67 on March 22, 1977, one week before he and his sons were scheduled to go on trial.[29] After three trials, one of the Hanigan sons was convicted in federal court and sentenced to three years, and the other was found not guilty.[30][31]


In 1994, California state voters approved Proposition 187 by a wide majority.[32] The initiative made undocumented immigrants ineligible for public health (except for emergencies), public social services, and public education. It required public agencies to report anyone they believed to be undocumented to either the INS or the California attorney general. It made it a felony to print, sell, or use false citizenship documents.[32] Many Mexicans opposed such measures as reminiscent of ethnic discrimination before the Civil Rights Era and denounced the actions as illegal under state and federal laws, as well as international law involving the rights of foreign nationals in other countries.[32] The initiative was eventually declared unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.[32]

21st century

See also: H.R. 4437

As of July 2018, 37.0 million Americans, or 10.3% of the United States' population, identify themselves as being of full or partial Mexican ancestry;[33] that was 61.9% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States.[33] The US is home to the second-largest Mexican community in the world, second only to Mexico itself, and is over 24% of the entire Mexican-origin population of the world (Canada is a distant third with a small Mexican Canadian population of 96,055 or 0.3% of the population as of 2011).[34] In addition, approximately 7,000,000 Mexicans lived undocumented in the United States in 2008.[35] In 2012, the United States admitted 145,326 Mexican immigrants,[36] and 1,323,978 Mexicans were waiting for a slot to open so that they could emigrate to the United States.[37] A 2014 survey indicated that 34% of all Mexicans would immigrate to the United States if they could do so.[38]

Some private citizen groups have been established to apprehend immigrants crossing undocumented into the United States. Such groups, like the Minuteman Project and other anti-immigration organizations, have been accused of discrimination because of their aggressive and illegal tactics.[39]

As Mexicans make up most Latinos in the United States, when the non-Latino population is asked to comment on their perception of Latinos, it tends to think of stereotypes of Mexicans that are fueled by the media, which focus on undocumented immigration. In a 2012 survey conducted by the National Hispanic Media Coalition, one-third of non-Hispanics (Whites and Blacks) mistakenly believed that most of the nation's Hispanics were "illegal immigrants with large families and little education."[40] The report has been criticized on the grounds that it makes the same mistake as the media in aggregating all Latinos into a single group, which misses both the diversity of the situations of the different groups and the varying perceptions of those groups by the non-Latino population.[40]

From 2003 to 2007 in California, the state with the largest illegal Mexican population, the number of hate crimes against Mexicans almost doubled.[41] Anti-Mexican feelings are sometimes directed also against other Latino nationalities even though anti-Mexican sentiment exists in some Caribbean and Latino groups.[42][43]

Additional incidents

Main article: Madrigal v. Quilligan

In July 2008, Luis Ramirez, a Mexican undocumented immigrant, was beaten to death by several white youths in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, while he was walking home one evening. Witnesses reported that the assailants yelled racial epithets at Ramirez as they attacked him.[44] His white fiancée and the mother of his two children, Crystal Dillman, was quoted as saying of the four teenagers, "I think they might get off, because Luis was an illegal Mexican and these are 'all-American boys' on the football team who get good grades, or whatever they're saying about them. They'll find some way to let them go."[45] Brandon Piekarsky, 17, and Derrick Donchak, 19, received sentences of 7 to 23 months for their roles in the murder of 25-year-old Mexican immigrant.[46] Piekarsky and Donchak were later convicted of civil rights violations in federal court and sentenced to 9 years in federal prison.[47]

In 2008, Rodolfo Olmedo, a Mexican, was dragged down by a group of men shouting anti-Mexican epithets and bashed over the head with a wooden stick on the street outside his home, the first of 11 suspected attacks that year motivated by anti-Hispanic bias in the neighborhood of Port Richmond, Staten Island. The area is predominantly African American but has seen a large influx of Mexican immigrants.[48] Four African-American teens, Rolston Hopson, William Marcano and Tyrone Goodman, all age 17, and Ethan Cave, age 15, were charged in the assault.[49] They all took plea bargains: Hopson pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery; Goodman and Marcano pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree robbery, and Cave pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery.[50]

Although the US Border Patrol is not predominantly Latino (According to 2016 data, Latinos constitute slightly more than 50% of the Border Patrol),[51] In July 2019, more than 60 border patrol agents were investigated over their participation in a Facebook page that mocked migrants.[52]

Organizations including neo-Nazi, white supremacist, American nationalist, and nativist groups have all been recently known to intimidate, harass, and advocate the use of violence against Mexicans.[53][54][55]

A domestic terrorist attack/mass shooting occurred on August 3, 2019 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, and resulted in 23 people dead and 23 injured, 18 of which were Hispanic Americans and/or Mexicans.[56][57][58] The white gunman, Patrick Crusius, told El Paso Police that he was trying to kill as many Mexicans as possible.[59] In a manifesto, The Inconvenient Truth, published on 8chan just before the attacks, Crusius had cited several white nationalist beliefs such as a supposed "Hispanic invasion of Texas" and The Great Replacement conspiracy theory; stated that he was "simply trying to defend my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion" (white genocide conspiracy theory), environmental degradation; contempt towards corporations, and their use of automation to replace workers. Crusius said that he was inspired in part by the Christchurch mosque shootings.[60][61]

See also


  1. ^ "Resources 4 Educators". Archived from the original on May 3, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  2. ^ Flores Niemann Yolanda, et al. Black-Brown-Red Relations and Stereotypes (2003); Charles Ramírez Berg, Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, & Resistance (2002); Chad Richardson, Batos, Bolillos, Pochos, and Pelados: Class & Culture on the South Texas Border (1999)
  3. ^ Powers, Elizabeth. "Life on the Texas-Mexico Border: Myth and reality as represented in Mainstream and Independent Western Cinema" Archived November 12, 2017, at the Wayback Machine Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003
  4. ^ Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Article 8
  5. ^ Robert J. McCarthy, Executive Authority, Adaptive Treaty Interpretation, and the International Boundary and Water Commission, U.S.–Mexico, 14-2 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 197(Spring 2011) (also available for free download at Robert John McCarthy (15 May 2011). Executive Authority, Adaptive Treaty Interpretation, and the International Boundary and Water Commission, U.S.–Mexico)
  6. ^ "When Americans Lynched Mexicans". The New York Times. February 20, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Carrigan, William D. and Clive Web. "The lynching of persons of Mexican origin or descent in the United States, 1848 to 1928" Archived September 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine The Journal of Social History 37:2 (Winter 2003): 413.
  8. ^ "lynching." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. December 22, 2009. Lynching MOB VIOLENCE.
  9. ^ "Latinas: Area Studies Collections".
  10. ^ Alfredo, Mirandé (2020). Gringo Injustice : Insider Perspectives on Police, Gangs, and Law. Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 26–28. ISBN 9780367276058.
  11. ^ Remembering the Bisbee Deportation of 1917 - Special Collections
  12. ^ a b Carrigan, William D.; Webb, Clive (2013). Forgotten Dead. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 65, 86–87.
  13. ^ "Refusing to Forget: Monica Muñoz Martinez Uncovers America's History at the Border". The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. November 15, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  14. ^ E., OROZCO, CYNTHIA (June 15, 2010). "PORVENIR MASSACRE". Retrieved March 19, 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Gratton, Brian; Merchant, Emily (December 2013). "Immigration, Repatriation, and Deportation: The Mexican-Origin Population in the United States, 1920-1950" (PDF). Vol. 47, no. 4. The International migration review. pp. 944–975.
  16. ^ 1930s Mexican Deportation: Educator brings attention to historic period and its effect on her family Archived October 5, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s is Little Known Story Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Chapter Fifteen Archived August 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Williams, Rudi (December 5, 1998). "Hispanics Lose Staunchest Trumpeter for Fairness, Equality". American Forces Press Service. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006.
  20. ^ Zoot Suit Riots Archived June 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Chapter Sixteen Archived October 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "LatinoLA - Hollywood :: Mendez v. Westminster". LatinoLA. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2007.
  23. ^ CARL, ALLSUP, V. (June 15, 2010). "HERNANDEZ V. STATE OF TEXAS". web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "Hernandez v. Texas | The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law". Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  25. ^ "RACE - History - Post-War Economic Boom and Racial Discrimination". Archived from the original on August 18, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2007.
  26. ^ JS Online: Filmmaker explores practice of redlining in documentary Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Pulido, Laura (December 17, 2005). Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles - Laura Pulido - Google Boeken. ISBN 9780520245204. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  28. ^ "3 Illegal Aliens Survive Desert Torture, Shooting", Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), August 21, 1977, p. 1
  29. ^ "Hanigan Died Of Heart Attack", Arizona Sun (Flagstaff, Arizona), March 23, 1977, p. 3
  30. ^ History News Network: "From Hanigan to SB 1070: How Arizona Got to Where It Is Today" by Geraldo Cadava August 22, 2010
  31. ^ Miller, Tom. On the Border: Portraits of America's Southwestern Frontier, p. 143-173.
  32. ^ a b c d García, Alma M. (2002). The Mexican. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 119. ISBN 9780313314995. Retrieved June 12, 2015. mexican-americans oppose california prop 187.
  33. ^ a b "B03001 HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN - United States - 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. July 1, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  34. ^ "National Household Survey (NHS) Profile, 2011". May 8, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  35. ^ Pew Hispanic Center: "A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants to the United States" Archived January 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine April 11, 2009
  36. ^ Department of Homeland Security: "2012 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics" 2012
  37. ^ "U.S. State Department: "Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family-sponsored and Employment-based preferences Registered at the National Visa Center as of November 1, 2014" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  38. ^ Romo, Rafael (August 27, 2014). "Third of Mexicans would migrate to U.S., survey finds". CNN. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  39. ^ "Vigilantes not welcome: A border town pushes back on anti-immigrant extremists".
  40. ^ a b Torregrosa, Luisita Lopez (September 18, 2012). "Media Feed Bias Against Latinos". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  41. ^ "FBI Statistics Show Anti-Latino Hate Crimes on the Rise". Democracy Now!.
  42. ^ "Race and Ethnicity in California: Demographics Report Series- No. 5 (December 2001) Latino Communities of the Central Valley: Population, Families, and Households" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2008.
  43. ^ Orlando Sentinel: "Hate Fuels Fight In Kissimmee - Puerto Rican Youth Is Beaten, 2 Men Are Charged In Attack" By Lenny Savino July 8, 1998. "'One of them [Crespo] said you're Mexican, talk to Mexican girls, not American girls,' Rosado said. 'He got out of the car. I didn't say anything. He punched me in my nose and eye.'"
  44. ^ "Federal Grand Jury Indictment Alleges Hate Crime and Police Cover-Up in the Murder of Mexican Immigrant". December 16, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  45. ^ Hamill, Sean D. (August 5, 2008). "Mexican's Death Bares a Town's Ethnic Tension". The New York Times.
  46. ^ Rosario, Mariela (June 18, 2009). "Teens Convicted of Murdering Luis Ramirez Sentenced to 7 Months in Jail". Latina. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  47. ^ Black, Caroline (February 24, 2011). "Deadly Pa. Hate Attack Brings 9 Years in Prison for Killers of Hispanic Immigrant". CBS News.
  48. ^ Fox News: "Attacks against Mexican immigrants in NYC's Staten Island inflame black-Hispanic tensions" August 16, 2010
  49. ^ NY1: "Four Teens Charged With Alleged Staten Island Bias Attack" By Tetiana Anderson April 10, 2010
  50. ^ Donelley, Frank (December 9, 2010). "Four Staten Island teens cut plea deals in beating of Mexican immigrant". Staten Island Advance.
  51. ^ Mejia, Brittny (April 23, 2018). "Many Latinos answer call of the Border Patrol in the age of Trump". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 24, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  52. ^ Long, Colleen (July 15, 2019). "62 Border Patrol Employees Under Internal Investigation Over 'Discriminatory' Facebook Posts". Time. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  53. ^ "New Immigrant Backlash: KKK Targets Mexicans". ABC News. January 8, 2009.
  54. ^ " Anti-Latino Violence". Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
  55. ^ Mead, Julia C. (June 15, 2006). "4 Are Held in Attack on Mexican Immigrants". The New York Times.
  56. ^ Cranley, Ellen; Frias, Lauren (August 6, 2019). "Full list of El Paso shooting victims: photos, stories, ages". Insider. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  57. ^ Jackson, Amanda; Grinberg, Emmanuel; Chavez, Nicole (August 4, 2019). "These are the El Paso shooting victims". CNN. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  58. ^ "El Paso Shooting Victim Dies Months Later, Death Toll Now 23". The New York Times. April 26, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  59. ^ "Police: El Paso shooting suspect said he targeted Mexicans". AP News. August 9, 2019.
  60. ^ "Minutes Before El Paso Killing, Hate-Filled Manifesto Appears Online". The New York Times. August 3, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  61. ^ "What's inside the hate filled manifesto linked to the alleged El Paso shooter". Washington Post. August 4, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.