Race, gender, and citizenship: The removal of Japanese and Japanese Mexicans from the United States/Mexico borderlands during World War II

Selfa Alejandra Chew-Smithart, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This dissertation explores the uprooting of the Japanese Mexican community from the United States/Mexico borderlands region during World War II. I argue that the development of international relations and the global organization of the economy directly informed the management of Japanese immigrants and their descendants in the United States borderlands region. In compliance with the United States’ request to control Japanese Mexicans, President Manuel Ávila Camacho ordered the dislocation of the entire Japanese Mexican community and approved the creation of concentration camps and zones of confinement. Under this order, a new pro-American nationalism developed, which scripted Japanese Mexicans as an internal racial enemy during World War II. ^ In spite of the broad resistance presented by the communities of which they were valued members, Japanese Mexicans lost their freedom, property, and lives. The number of affected persons during the Second Great War extended beyond the number of first generation Japanese immigrants “handled” by the Mexican government during this period. The entire multiethnic social fabric of the borderlands was reconfigured in the absence of Japanese Mexicans during the war. ^ This research endeavor raises several questions relative to race, gender, and citizenship status in the United States/Mexico borderlands. This dissertation makes an important contribution to the historiography of the United States-Mexico Borderlands, Mexican history, American history, the history of World War II, and Asian American History. ^

Subject Area

History, Latin American|History, United States|History, Modern

Recommended Citation

Chew-Smithart, Selfa Alejandra, "Race, gender, and citizenship: The removal of Japanese and Japanese Mexicans from the United States/Mexico borderlands during World War II" (2010). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3433543.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3433543

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