BILL NUMBER: SJR 21 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Senators Dunn, Cedillo, Escutia, and Romero (Coauthor: Assembly Member Nunez) AUGUST 19, 2003 Senate Joint Resolution No. 21--Relative to persons of Mexican descent. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SJR 21, as introduced, Dunn. Persons of Mexican descent. This measure would request the Congress of the United States to establish a factfinding commission to determine whether the federal government committed a wrong against those American citizens and permanent resident aliens of Mexican descent who were deported or coerced to emigrate during the 1930s and to recommend appropriate remedies. Fiscal committee: no. WHEREAS, In the early 1930s, the United States government, in close cooperation with states, cities, counties, and certain private sector entities, undertook an aggressive program to forcibly remove persons of Mexican descent from the United States; and WHEREAS, Throughout the United States, authorities conducted massive raids on Mexican communities, resulting in clandestine deportation sweeps; and WHEREAS, These raids also had the effect of coercing thousands of people to leave the country "voluntarily" in the face of threats and acts of violence; and WHEREAS, These raids indiscriminately targeted persons of Mexican descent, with authorities characterizing these persons as "illegal aliens" regardless of whether they were citizens or permanent legal residents; and WHEREAS, Local authorities, with the knowledge and assistance of the federal government, instituted programs to facilitate the wrongful deportation of persons of Mexican descent and secured transportation arrangements with railroads, ships, and airlines to effectuate the wholesale removal of tens of thousands of persons of Mexican descent to the Mexican border; and WHEREAS, As a result of these wrongful deportation activities, families were forced to abandon, or were defrauded out of, personal and real property, which often was subsequently disposed of by local authorities as "payment" for the transportation expenses incident to their removal to Mexico; and WHEREAS, As a further result of these wrongful deportation activities, United States citizens were separated from their families, friends, and country and were deprived of their livelihood, educational opportunities, adequate medical care, and the right to participate in the political process as guaranteed to all citizens, thereby resulting in the tragic denial of due process and equal protection of the laws; and WHEREAS, It is estimated that approximately 2 million people were forcibly relocated to Mexico, including approximately 1.2 million children who had been born in the United States and were legally American citizens; and WHEREAS, No inquiry into this matter has been conducted; now, therefore, be it Resolved, by the Senate and Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature of the State of California respectfully requests the Congress of the United States to establish a factfinding commission to determine whether the federal government committed a wrong against those American citizens and permanent resident aliens of Mexican descent who were deported or coerced to emigrate during the 1930s and to recommend appropriate remedies; and be it further Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the Governor, the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and each Senator and Representative from California in the United States Congress.