By Richard Worth
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Additional resources for Mexican Immigrants (Immigration to the United States)
She attended college at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), but she left to join the labor movement. De Bright also became an active member of the Spanish-Speaking Congress. Formed in 1938, this organization was dedicated to achieving equality and ending discrimination against Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants. 51 Some Mexican Americans fought back. They continued to join unions and stage strikes to save their jobs and improve their working conditions. During the 1930s, the major labor unions in the United States did not represent unskilled workers.
At dances and parties, these young men, also called pachucos (possibly after a city in Mexico), wore baggy pants and oversized coats (known as zoot suits), while the Mexican-American women dressed in short skirts. These fashions made them stand out from other young people. Boys combed their hair in a style called the ducktail, which looked from the back like the tail of a duck. Some had tattoos. The pachucos spoke in a language that was a mix of Spanish and English. They represented a new culture among young people who were rebelling against their parents.
During the depression, a massive drought struck the Midwest. Weeks of no rain turned vast farmlands into a giant dust bowl. As small Anglo farmers saw their land literally blow away, they packed up their belongings and headed west. Some went to Texas and Arizona, while others settled in the fertile valleys of California. Thousands of unemployed workers were willing to take any kind of job, even the low-paying work of picking fruits and vegetables in the fields. In the past, these jobs had belonged primarily to Mexican immigrants working as migrant laborers.
Mexican Immigrants (Immigration to the United States) by Richard Worth