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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Barrio Lives, Barrio Histories
Program #

Social Issues
Linda Fregoso
Albert Camarillo, Estevan Flores
May 10, 1980

Barrio Lives, Barrio histories

Linda Fregoso speaks with Albert Camarillo about the history of California barrios and interviews Estevan Flores on his study of undocumented families in Houston. Camarillo’s research traces the origins of the barrios in California to the 19th century pueblos that became part of the United Sates after the Mexican American war. He argues that Chicano political marginalization similarly traces to this time, when Anglos began to takeover local politics. He explains that there has always been a lot of diversity within barrios between newcomers from Mexico and those who had lived in California since the 1700s. Camarillo then discusses the various settlement patterns and relations between Mexican and Chicano communities.

Estevan Flores updates the conversation to look at the contemporary situation of undocumented families in Houston, Texas. He discusses the results of a study he participated in, which interviewed undocumented families to determine their impact on the economy. The study found that immigrants constituted a net gain to the economy since their purchases were taxed and few if any used social services. He further argues that immigrants are not taking jobs from citizens because they often perform work many do not want to do and in sectors, like construction, which have a surplus of jobs. Flores would like to see legislation that permitted children born in the U.S. to petition for legal residency for their parents and an increased quota for immigrants from Mexico. While he does not believe amnesty is politically feasible in the current political climate, he would like to see all immigrants given their full constitutional rights.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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