This act essentially gave the United States much of the land that was owned by Mexico. Hispanics and Latinos already living in the territory that became part of the United States were given the opportunity to stay and obtain United States citizenship. Many chose to leave their home country, but many also stayed. Migration into Texas from Mexico grew in the 1890s due to a boost in jobs.
This era in history was known as "La Matanza" (The Slaughter), a period of anti-Mexican violence in Texas, including lynchings and massacres,in the midst of tensions between the U.S. and Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. This violence was commited by Anglo-Texan vigilantes & law enforcement known as the Texas Rangers. This period was refered to as the "Hora de Sangre" by Mexicans in South Texas, many of whom fled to Mexico to escape the violence. It is estimated that hundreds to thousands of Mexican Americans were killed during this time period.
Anti-Latino attitudes spiked during the Great Depression. Latinos were accused of stealing jobs from Americans and contributing to the decline of the economy. The U.S. Government forcibly removed 2 million Latinos, with the majority of them being American citizens. Hospitals removed Latinos with disabilities and illnesses and employers laid off Latino workers. Many Latinos returned to Mexico voluntarily because of the hostile environment.
The Bracero program brought 4 million Mexican men to work legally in the United States on short-term labor contracts. The United States and Mexico agreed on a set of protocols that would protect Braceros from discrimination and poor wages, but discrimination continued and Braceros experienced high charges for room and board, low pay, and were exposed to deadly chemicals.
Dolores Huerta & Cesar Chavez organize the United Farmworker Movement in an attempt to organize migrant farmworkers to in the fight for better pay, working conditions, dignity, and respect. Throughout history this is referred to as "The Great Grape Strike." This movement is often seen as a prime example of the power of community organizing and civic engagement.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 gave people of color the right to vote. It wasn't until 1975, however, that the law impacted Latinos as well. Then President Gerald Ford signed an extension that ended discrimination against "language minorities" who were kept from voting for at least a decade after the Voting Rights Act became law.