In 1938, only 3,000 Mexican "wetbacks" were arrested for sneaking illegally across the shallows of the Rio Grande into the U.S. But World War II brought labor shortages to California and Texas harvest fields, and in the years which followed, the wetbacks thronged in by the tens of thousands. The annual invasion has grown bigger & bigger—despite legislation, public clamor, the hardships which the wetbacks suffer, and the best efforts of the U.S. border patrol, which caught and shipped 635,135 of them home (many of them repeaters) during 1952 alone.

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