Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

June 20, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

Arizona Stories: Hispanic Flyboys


  • Meet a man who was one of many young Hispanics who flew for the Allies during World War II.
Guests:
  • Brian Gratton - history professor, ASU's Chicana and Chicano studies
  • Lisa Magana - ASU sociology department


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," we start the first of a four-part series on Arizona's border crisis and we meet a man who was one of many young Hispanics who fought and flew during World War II in tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "Horizon." This week we start an in-depth look into the issue of immigration, the politics, the impact, and Arizona's specific problem of illegal border crossing. Tonight we take a look who is coming across the border and why. There are now more illegal immigrants entering the United States annually than legal immigrants. That has profound implications for both security and the economy. Producer Larry Lemmons gives us a wide view of the phenomena and how far we've come from Ellis Island.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We are a nation of immigrants. Huddled masses yearning to breathe free have become symbolic of the essence of America's identity. Images of Ellis Island arrivals are burned into our national consciousness representing the American desire not only to be free but prosperous. Today the image of the typical immigrant is different. About 100 years after Europeans arrived at Ellis Island, the focus of migration has moved south to the border. (Speaking in Spanish)

>> Larry Lemmons:
Obviously, it's unknown specifically how many people illegally cross the border each day, but their general characteristics are known. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, a little less than half of the young men crossing the border are single, the rest are mostly in married couples. (Speaking in Spanish)

>> Larry Lemmons:
Women, both single and in families and some with children are a growing part of the migration across the border. Undocumented migrants today are largely Latin American. By far most undocumented migrants come from Mexico. Overall, about half the Mexicans in the United States are unauthorized. The second largest source is El Salvador. Smaller numbers arrive from Asia, Canada, Europe and Africa. It's estimated there were 10.3 million undocumented immigrants in the country last year. Illegally crossing the border tends to be a young person's game. The undocumented tend to be children and younger adults. Only 11\% are over 40. 17\% are under 18. 86\% of the undocumented have come here in the last 15 years. And as you can see by this map, there are many undocumented compared to the general population in the southern Border States, shown in blue. But the highest ratios exist in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho and North Carolina.

>> Border agent:
Okay. (Speaking in Spanish).

>> Larry Lemmons:
Finally in comparison to immigrants overall, there were 35.7 million foreign-born in the United States last year. 61\% are legal permanent residents. Nearly 30\% of the immigrants are undocumented. Since 1995, arrivals of unauthorized migrants have exceeded arrivals of legal immigrants. Most of the undocumented are coming here to work and are being employed by American companies in a variety of ways, such as farming and construction. In urban border areas the strategies for slowing illegal border crossing has included the building of walls like this one in Nogales. Nevertheless, even walls aren't completely effective. One consequence is that more crossing is being done in the desert, resulting in fatal heat exhaustion. The border patrol has a search and rescue division that is designed to prevent deaths. Private citizens, too, try to help.

>>Private Citizen:
I am trying to make a difference, a very small drop for -- in a big ocean of a problem.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The latest surveillance technologies are being employed on the border to try to stop the flow of illegal border crossings. Even unmanned drones have been used, but these technologies haven't been able to stop the flow. And in the Valley drop houses are constantly being found where dozens of undocumented migrants are kept, in sometimes unsanitary conditions, until they can be moved to other parts of the country. Those organizing this trade in human smuggling are called coyotes, sometimes violence has erupted on Valley streets between rival groups of human smugglers, prompting a concerted action between all levels of law enforcement, but specifically immigration and customs enforcement, or I.C.E., an arm of the relatively new homeland security department.

>> Welcome Lady:
Welcome to our shores. As you welcomed me when I was a stranger in Egypt.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Still, attempts by the federal government to halt the tide of undocumented migrants have not satisfied many. Recently the so-called minutemen descended on the border expressing dissatisfaction with federal efforts and claimed the minuteman presence was instrumental in stopping illegal crossings.

>> Protester:
President Bush and Congress need to start doing their job. It's getting old. 34 billion dollars our country spends on noncitizens. This is getting old.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Some efforts have been successful in thwarting undocumented migrants, but so long as the promise of prosperity and freedom remains just across the border, there will be those willing to take a chance for a better future.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's talk about who is coming across the border and why. ASU history professor Brian Gratton, from ASU's Chicana and Chicano studies department Lisa Magana, and Cecilia Menjivar from ASU's sociology department. Thanks to all of you for joining us. Bryan, let's take a fast historical look. Differences and similarities between where we are today and where we were 100 and 150 years ago?

>> Brian Gratton:
I would say there are three phases in American history when we have I had high levels of immigration, in fact the highest percentage of immigration to the native population was before the civil war. The primary immigrants were Irish and German, and then the second period occurred right at the turn of the 19th century when, again, there was a very large flow, in this case, of people mainly from southern and eastern Europe, that would be POLS, Italians, Jews, Greeks. What we are now experiencing the third time when we have very, very large flows. The difference with the previous two ones is that there were no illegal immigrants with a minor exception, an important one in terms race, because of the Chinese were excluded, nonetheless, all other persons could arrive. There were no heavy requirements. So, consequently there wasn't the level of what is now described as unauthorized immigration. However, there were sharp reactions by American citizens in both those previous periods against immigration.

>> Michael Grant:
In fact, you've provided a couple --

>> Brian Gratton:
A some images that I think are kind of useful. In the first one here, wherever it may be --

>> Michael Grant:
If we can call that puppy up.

>> Brian Gratton:
Is it there?

>> Michael Grant:
It is.

>> Brian Gratton:
This is the reaction in the 1850s against the Irish and the Germans which was the reaction largely based in religion and antagonism toward their Catholicism by a population that was emphatically Protestant, but it also went toward questions of the drinking habits of Irish and Germans and the Irish in particular great great success at the polls. This image shows an event that occurred in which the Irish disrupted an election. The second image is from this second period in the early 20th century when immigration again began to be something frightening to many Americans, and it shows a nativist reaction, "Uncle Sam" is besieged by hoards of foreigners. They are identified -- if the image is sharp enough you can see the names of the countries on their hats. This is the riffraff. These are people who are lower and during this period there developed an almost racial theory that classified these Europeans as lower than Europeans from Britain and Germany.

>> Michael Grant:
Lisa, I think you think we really can't compare the two periods.

>> Lisa Magana:
There's some significant periods that people don't talk about a lot, so I often get asked teaching immigration, why, for example, why don't you people, people of Mexican origin, why don't you assimilate like my ancestors assimilated, and I think there are a couple differences that we should at least point out. One is that there's a physical proximity from the sending country, that is, Mexico is not only physically connected but was once part of this region, which is going to make a very different assimilation process than, say, those turn of the century immigrants who came, it was very difficult to get here and not very likely to go back, although there are certainly rates of certain types of immigrants that did go back. There's also a historical and a political connection to this region that I think makes patterns of how immigrants in the past versus contemporary immigrants today -- there were also very clear migration waves with turn of the century immigrants, whereas -- excuse me -- whereas now it's an often -- it's constantly being replenished. So people that study immigration will see -- are able to discern when there were particular periods when immigrants came into the country.

>> Michael Grant:
Cecilia, the big magnet, though, is an economic magnet, correct?

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
Yes, to a certain degree, yes. Although there are other -- what we may call social magnets. We know that immigrants are -- have families and friends and what we call social networks here, and so we have that other kind of magnet, not just the economic magnet. We have issues of family reunification, for instance, that weigh heavily.

>> Michael Grant:
One of the things I was struck with by some of the statistics I've seen and also covered in the tape piece is this isn't just young men.

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
No, not anymore.

>> Michael Grant:
An increasing number of family units.

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Why is that?

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
Because of family reunification. More women and children are migrating now. In fact, there is a new phenomenon of children migrating alone without either parent to come and reunite with a parent or both parents here.

>> Brian Gratton:
And one -- there's one argument that says that the increased border control is partly responsible for the larger number of women and children who are crossing the border.

>> Michael Grant:
Explain that.

>> Brian Gratton:
It's the argument that, yes, it is more expensive, dangerous and difficult to cross the border which I think is positively true and it's not just Mexico where you see the prices rising for crossing, and as a consequence immigrants that have might have one crossed, worked and returned, male immigrants, they stay in the United States because it's more costly and dangerous to return. So their idea is let's bring my family here. So that may be one explanation for increased unauthorized immigrants.

>> Michael Grant:
The statistics showed that by far the largest block of illegal immigrants are coming from Mexico. Why?

>> Lisa Magana:
Well, I -- part of this idea of social network. Obviously the disparities between the two countries in terms of wealth and types of jobs that are provided by the economy. Certainly there are reasons why people come in terms of fulfilling labor needs. But I think that in many ways the system is set up for a while, and I think that what's interesting about today's contemporary immigration is this sort of idea of a dual identity, that the reality is that you are going to have a large population of Mexican nationals that are going to be living here who may, in fact, legalize but who may in fact go back, but the reality is that they're going to stay here, and so this sort of dual identity, I think, you're really going to see continuing for -- for the next 50 years, from all accounts. I think it's fascinating, this idea.

>> Brian Gratton:
One thing for sure is that other nations have dropped out of the immigration flow because their economies got very good. The Italians and the poles, the people from Europe that once came, the German immigrants that once came, when their own economies became healthy enough to offer an alternative, they chose -- people probably don't want to leave their home countries, they're probably comfortable with families and cultures but Mexico has had over a long period a special relationship with the United States in terms of workers coming across the border. It's over 100 years old at the least, and there is still a disparity in wages. Mexico does not have the kind of development we saw occur in a place like Italy.

>> Michael Grant:
Cecilia, why is that. Mexico certainly has number natural resources, oil, gas comes to mind, two large coasts. Why?

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
As Lisa was saying, the United States and Mexico have had a very long and very special, as Brian said, relationship and so that has created a ready structure for -- for Mexican nationals when they can't find employment that gives them the income required to fulfill whatever hopes they have, then they -- there's a structure already created to go north.

>> Michael Grant:
Lisa, I guess that my question, though, why doesn't the Mexican economy drive enough that the -- the special relationship or no, someone says, well, if I can make a decent wage, I just as soon stay home.

>> Lisa Magana:
I think there's a combination of factors. One of which I think timing has been one of the reasons that have accounted for poor economies in Mexico, and part of it, liberalization in trade policies that were not successful at a bad time, say, in the '70s and '80s that coincided with mass migration. But I want to emphasize but it's not unilateral, that there's two parts of this. The other part is, this is important, that this large population that is defined as illegal and part -- this is important, is that when someone is defined as illegal, and so this is important to think about, that as laws are created, as more restrictive laws are created, as we say that there are more people now deemed as being in the country illegally, this also raises the number of people -- these numbers, and so there's two parts of this whole process. It's not just Mexico isn't doing enough to retain these people. There's also pull factors that are going on here in this country, but there's also, in terms of laws and how we're defining these people. So one of the things my colleagues and I have talked about is that as laws have become more restrictive, of course the numbers of illegal or undocumented immigrants have gone up because we have deemed more people as illegal, and so -- I know we're not talking about this tonight, but one of the arguments for amnesty is that by changing the status of people from legal to legal, you actually reduce the total number of the undocumented or illegal immigration population.

>> Michael Grant:
Brian, we're almost out of time and this is way too big a question for the time we've got remaining, but we had an amnesty program in the mid-1980s. It's generally thought it didn't work. Indict work?

>> Brian Gratton:
Well, it certainly reduced the illegal population by fee ought, but most amnesty programs are -- tend to encourage more illegal immigration. I think that's pretty much conclusive not just from the United States experience but other national experiences.

>> Lisa Magana:
If I could add to that, how do you define success? So if you're going to say we were able to process over 3 million people by an agency that's traditionally been feared for very little money that some would tout amnesty is a great success, one of the greatest successes in terms of immigration policy in the U.S.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. We'll be poking and prodding a variety of questions throughout the week. Lisa, Magana, thank you very much for being here. Brian Gratton our thanks to you. Cecilia Menjivar, our thanks to you as well. This week on "Horizon," as I mentioned, we will be taking a look at the immigration question from the politics to the impact in the four-part series Arizona's Border Crisis. If you want to know more about what is coming up, please visit the web site. You'll find that at www.azpbs.org.

>>> Michael Grant:
Although they weren't segregated, Hispanics did face challenges when serving during World War II and not many served in the army Air Force. One who did is Gilbert Orrantia, a Mesa man flew more than 50 missions in a B-25 over Italy and Africa. Mike Sauceda tells us more about his exploits in tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
I remember one time there was a hole in the back on the top right between the bomb, a big hole, and it indicated that the shell had come when the Bombay doors were open because there was no hole in the bombay doors. There was a hole up on the top. And the jacket part was to the outside. So we knew it came through the bombay, and it exploded up above. We felt the concussion.

>> Mike Sauceda:
One of several narrow escapes by Mesa resident Gilbert Orrantia who flew 50 missions as a B25 pilot during World War II from November of 1942 until he returned stateside a year later to become a combat flight instructor. How narrow? The round could have hit these 100-pound bombs spaced apart by a couple feet. Orrantia was born in 1917 in Clarkdale and graduated from Clarkdale high school in 1936. After that he attended what was then known as Arizona state teachers college in Tempe for two years. That was enough to allow him to control his war destiny.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
By this time it was a school year '40-41. So the draft was being instituted, and we were signed up, and I was going to be drafted because I was real close to the original number that they pulled. So I decided I'd go ahead and volunteer for the army air corps, and they wanted you to have two years of college. That's what I said.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Orrantia met all the requirements to become a pilot as was undergoing psychological testing when the doctor asked about his nationality.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
You're a Mexican. Yes, I am. You're going to have a hard time. My reply to that was very simply, look, if I have passed all the examinations, you put your signature on that piece of paper, and I'll take my chances with the best you've got, and if I can't cut the mustard, I don't deserve to be a pilot. He said, if that's the way you want. I said, that's the only way I want it.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Orrantia trained in several states on various planes, rising to the rank of second lieutenant. His first mission was in northern Africa as a co-pilot.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
As we were going over the field and all the flak is bursting around us, I look over to the left, and they hit the ship and it was one of my buddies we had been together and they blew that ship apart. But, you know, they all got out. I saw the parachutes. I felt like my skin was crocodile skin. I felt real goofy. Oh, heck, that was a cinch.

>> Mike Sauceda:
As 86 years old, Orrantia is still able to climb into the cockpit of a restored B25 at the commemorative air force museum in Mesa.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
It's interesting to get back because as I look at this, I wonder now d I learn all those? Because you had to learn these by heart. They would blindfold you and you would say, well, this is the compass, this is -- this is the flight indicator. You would have to touch it and tell them what it was.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Being in a B25 for the first time in over 50 years, Orrantia remembered one of his most hair owing experiences as a B25 pilot, which came on a low-altitude bombing mission aimed at a German ship. Orrantia's job was to fly 200 feet above the ocean and skip bombs on the water like a stone and into the ship.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
I remember we were so low that my tail gunner would say, "Lieutenant, dip the tail and I'll get us some fish for lunch or supper." This is the part, this part right here, that was shot off.

>> Mike Sauceda:
But his bomber came under fire.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
That right vertical stabilizer, the one in the back there, was destroyed, and so we had to use left rudder, full left rudder, left stick and forward stick, and it took the co-pilot and myself all our strength to move that and hold it there, because we couldn't get any more altitude. We only had about 200 feet altitude over the ocean. When we had kind of ballooned up a little bit before they hit us from pretty close to the surface. When they blew that out, so we were holding it, and we get to an airfield that was only about 10, 15 minutes away, and we knew exactly where it was, it was a little English airfield called bone, so we land there had. It took a lot of doing to land, because, you know, it was very difficult to maneuver the plane. You had to make very slight movements so you wouldn't drop a wing. So we landed, and just stopped at the end of the runway, and pretty soon here come the British in the Jeep and they look up at the rudder, and it's all blown to heck. We had gotten down and looked at it. And they went around the plane and looked at it and said, blimey, how did you bloaks get that aircraft on the ground? Said, I don't know, but there it is.

>> Mike Sauceda:
There were other flight frightening moments during his 50 missions like a belly landing when the nose gear would not deploy or the time the windshield shattered.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
The windshield was all cracked and I had to fly this way to land because I couldn't see anything. We'd check the nosewheel, see that everything looked all right, and then we'd go on and check the props, check to see that they had been pulled through, because if they weren't pulled through the oil that collected in the bottom cylinder by explode that cylinder when you started pit that.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Hispanics were not segregated in the military and Orrantia was one of the few in the air corps. He said he didn't experience a lot of discrimination but there were some instances.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
A guy would say, well, Mexicans are dirty answers greasy, and he's an officer, he's a pilot, and he's a big guy, and he's as dark as I am. And he must have been about 6'4". And I happened to catch him saying to that a bunch of other officers when I came up. So I went straight up to him and I said, look, big boy, I said, what are you talking about? You're talking about who -- about me. I'm a Mexican. I'm a Mexican-American. Oh, no -- you know, the -- there -- their reply was always, oh, you're different. You're different. I said, bull, I'm not different. I'm just like every one of those people that are out there that you call Mexicans. And -- he apologized, and -- but -- you know, I never got to -- for a long tomb I didn't -- I just stayed away from him.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Orrantia's story is one of 77 featured in a book called Arizona Hispanic flyboys 1941 to 1945. It lists 185 Arizona Hispanics who served as pilots, co-pilots, bombardiers, gunners and radio operators planes touring World War II. He later became a French and Spanish professor at Mesa Community College and a community activist. It's been over 50 years since he's flown a B25 but it's an experience he's always carried with him.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
It was a wonderful experience. I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. I loved flying them. I didn't particularly care for people shooting at me and stuff, but that comes with the territory.

>> Michael Grant:
Next Monday we'll mosey on over to Scottsdale to discover the beauty of the house which was built by the hands of apprentices, studying under a visionary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin west on the next "Arizona Story".

>>> Michael Grant:
A source of cheap labor, undocumented immigrants account for lower home prices, food prices and service costs. But what about the cost to taxpayers? "Horizon" looks at the economic impact of illegal immigrants and their cost to Arizona taxpayers. Tuesday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>> Michael Grant:
Wednesday we'll take a look at why illegal aliens are crossing the border in Arizona. Thursday we'll explore how the illegal immigration issue plays a part in politics. Friday join us for the Journalists Roundtable. Thanks for being here on a Monday. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Arizona's Border Crisis: A HORIZON Specia


  • Get an overview of the illegal immigration phenomenon and learn who is crossing the border and why. ASU Professors Brian Gratton, Lisa Magana and Cecilia Menjivar join Michael Grant for a discussion.
Guests:
  • Brian Gratton - history professor, ASU's Chicana and Chicano studies
  • Lisa Magana - ASU sociology department


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," we start the first of a four-part series on Arizona's border crisis and we meet a man who was one of many young Hispanics who fought and flew during World War II in tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "Horizon." This week we start an in-depth look into the issue of immigration, the politics, the impact, and Arizona's specific problem of illegal border crossing. Tonight we take a look who is coming across the border and why. There are now more illegal immigrants entering the United States annually than legal immigrants. That has profound implications for both security and the economy. Producer Larry Lemmons gives us a wide view of the phenomena and how far we've come from Ellis Island.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We are a nation of immigrants. Huddled masses yearning to breathe free have become symbolic of the essence of America's identity. Images of Ellis Island arrivals are burned into our national consciousness representing the American desire not only to be free but prosperous. Today the image of the typical immigrant is different. About 100 years after Europeans arrived at Ellis Island, the focus of migration has moved south to the border. (Speaking in Spanish)

>> Larry Lemmons:
Obviously, it's unknown specifically how many people illegally cross the border each day, but their general characteristics are known. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, a little less than half of the young men crossing the border are single, the rest are mostly in married couples. (Speaking in Spanish)

>> Larry Lemmons:
Women, both single and in families and some with children are a growing part of the migration across the border. Undocumented migrants today are largely Latin American. By far most undocumented migrants come from Mexico. Overall, about half the Mexicans in the United States are unauthorized. The second largest source is El Salvador. Smaller numbers arrive from Asia, Canada, Europe and Africa. It's estimated there were 10.3 million undocumented immigrants in the country last year. Illegally crossing the border tends to be a young person's game. The undocumented tend to be children and younger adults. Only 11\% are over 40. 17\% are under 18. 86\% of the undocumented have come here in the last 15 years. And as you can see by this map, there are many undocumented compared to the general population in the southern Border States, shown in blue. But the highest ratios exist in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho and North Carolina.

>> Border agent:
Okay. (Speaking in Spanish).

>> Larry Lemmons:
Finally in comparison to immigrants overall, there were 35.7 million foreign-born in the United States last year. 61\% are legal permanent residents. Nearly 30\% of the immigrants are undocumented. Since 1995, arrivals of unauthorized migrants have exceeded arrivals of legal immigrants. Most of the undocumented are coming here to work and are being employed by American companies in a variety of ways, such as farming and construction. In urban border areas the strategies for slowing illegal border crossing has included the building of walls like this one in Nogales. Nevertheless, even walls aren't completely effective. One consequence is that more crossing is being done in the desert, resulting in fatal heat exhaustion. The border patrol has a search and rescue division that is designed to prevent deaths. Private citizens, too, try to help.

>>Private Citizen:
I am trying to make a difference, a very small drop for -- in a big ocean of a problem.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The latest surveillance technologies are being employed on the border to try to stop the flow of illegal border crossings. Even unmanned drones have been used, but these technologies haven't been able to stop the flow. And in the Valley drop houses are constantly being found where dozens of undocumented migrants are kept, in sometimes unsanitary conditions, until they can be moved to other parts of the country. Those organizing this trade in human smuggling are called coyotes, sometimes violence has erupted on Valley streets between rival groups of human smugglers, prompting a concerted action between all levels of law enforcement, but specifically immigration and customs enforcement, or I.C.E., an arm of the relatively new homeland security department.

>> Welcome Lady:
Welcome to our shores. As you welcomed me when I was a stranger in Egypt.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Still, attempts by the federal government to halt the tide of undocumented migrants have not satisfied many. Recently the so-called minutemen descended on the border expressing dissatisfaction with federal efforts and claimed the minuteman presence was instrumental in stopping illegal crossings.

>> Protester:
President Bush and Congress need to start doing their job. It's getting old. 34 billion dollars our country spends on noncitizens. This is getting old.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Some efforts have been successful in thwarting undocumented migrants, but so long as the promise of prosperity and freedom remains just across the border, there will be those willing to take a chance for a better future.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's talk about who is coming across the border and why. ASU history professor Brian Gratton, from ASU's Chicana and Chicano studies department Lisa Magana, and Cecilia Menjivar from ASU's sociology department. Thanks to all of you for joining us. Bryan, let's take a fast historical look. Differences and similarities between where we are today and where we were 100 and 150 years ago?

>> Brian Gratton:
I would say there are three phases in American history when we have I had high levels of immigration, in fact the highest percentage of immigration to the native population was before the civil war. The primary immigrants were Irish and German, and then the second period occurred right at the turn of the 19th century when, again, there was a very large flow, in this case, of people mainly from southern and eastern Europe, that would be POLS, Italians, Jews, Greeks. What we are now experiencing the third time when we have very, very large flows. The difference with the previous two ones is that there were no illegal immigrants with a minor exception, an important one in terms race, because of the Chinese were excluded, nonetheless, all other persons could arrive. There were no heavy requirements. So, consequently there wasn't the level of what is now described as unauthorized immigration. However, there were sharp reactions by American citizens in both those previous periods against immigration.

>> Michael Grant:
In fact, you've provided a couple --

>> Brian Gratton:
A some images that I think are kind of useful. In the first one here, wherever it may be --

>> Michael Grant:
If we can call that puppy up.

>> Brian Gratton:
Is it there?

>> Michael Grant:
It is.

>> Brian Gratton:
This is the reaction in the 1850s against the Irish and the Germans which was the reaction largely based in religion and antagonism toward their Catholicism by a population that was emphatically Protestant, but it also went toward questions of the drinking habits of Irish and Germans and the Irish in particular great great success at the polls. This image shows an event that occurred in which the Irish disrupted an election. The second image is from this second period in the early 20th century when immigration again began to be something frightening to many Americans, and it shows a nativist reaction, "Uncle Sam" is besieged by hoards of foreigners. They are identified -- if the image is sharp enough you can see the names of the countries on their hats. This is the riffraff. These are people who are lower and during this period there developed an almost racial theory that classified these Europeans as lower than Europeans from Britain and Germany.

>> Michael Grant:
Lisa, I think you think we really can't compare the two periods.

>> Lisa Magana:
There's some significant periods that people don't talk about a lot, so I often get asked teaching immigration, why, for example, why don't you people, people of Mexican origin, why don't you assimilate like my ancestors assimilated, and I think there are a couple differences that we should at least point out. One is that there's a physical proximity from the sending country, that is, Mexico is not only physically connected but was once part of this region, which is going to make a very different assimilation process than, say, those turn of the century immigrants who came, it was very difficult to get here and not very likely to go back, although there are certainly rates of certain types of immigrants that did go back. There's also a historical and a political connection to this region that I think makes patterns of how immigrants in the past versus contemporary immigrants today -- there were also very clear migration waves with turn of the century immigrants, whereas -- excuse me -- whereas now it's an often -- it's constantly being replenished. So people that study immigration will see -- are able to discern when there were particular periods when immigrants came into the country.

>> Michael Grant:
Cecilia, the big magnet, though, is an economic magnet, correct?

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
Yes, to a certain degree, yes. Although there are other -- what we may call social magnets. We know that immigrants are -- have families and friends and what we call social networks here, and so we have that other kind of magnet, not just the economic magnet. We have issues of family reunification, for instance, that weigh heavily.

>> Michael Grant:
One of the things I was struck with by some of the statistics I've seen and also covered in the tape piece is this isn't just young men.

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
No, not anymore.

>> Michael Grant:
An increasing number of family units.

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Why is that?

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
Because of family reunification. More women and children are migrating now. In fact, there is a new phenomenon of children migrating alone without either parent to come and reunite with a parent or both parents here.

>> Brian Gratton:
And one -- there's one argument that says that the increased border control is partly responsible for the larger number of women and children who are crossing the border.

>> Michael Grant:
Explain that.

>> Brian Gratton:
It's the argument that, yes, it is more expensive, dangerous and difficult to cross the border which I think is positively true and it's not just Mexico where you see the prices rising for crossing, and as a consequence immigrants that have might have one crossed, worked and returned, male immigrants, they stay in the United States because it's more costly and dangerous to return. So their idea is let's bring my family here. So that may be one explanation for increased unauthorized immigrants.

>> Michael Grant:
The statistics showed that by far the largest block of illegal immigrants are coming from Mexico. Why?

>> Lisa Magana:
Well, I -- part of this idea of social network. Obviously the disparities between the two countries in terms of wealth and types of jobs that are provided by the economy. Certainly there are reasons why people come in terms of fulfilling labor needs. But I think that in many ways the system is set up for a while, and I think that what's interesting about today's contemporary immigration is this sort of idea of a dual identity, that the reality is that you are going to have a large population of Mexican nationals that are going to be living here who may, in fact, legalize but who may in fact go back, but the reality is that they're going to stay here, and so this sort of dual identity, I think, you're really going to see continuing for -- for the next 50 years, from all accounts. I think it's fascinating, this idea.

>> Brian Gratton:
One thing for sure is that other nations have dropped out of the immigration flow because their economies got very good. The Italians and the poles, the people from Europe that once came, the German immigrants that once came, when their own economies became healthy enough to offer an alternative, they chose -- people probably don't want to leave their home countries, they're probably comfortable with families and cultures but Mexico has had over a long period a special relationship with the United States in terms of workers coming across the border. It's over 100 years old at the least, and there is still a disparity in wages. Mexico does not have the kind of development we saw occur in a place like Italy.

>> Michael Grant:
Cecilia, why is that. Mexico certainly has number natural resources, oil, gas comes to mind, two large coasts. Why?

>> Cecilia Menjivar:
As Lisa was saying, the United States and Mexico have had a very long and very special, as Brian said, relationship and so that has created a ready structure for -- for Mexican nationals when they can't find employment that gives them the income required to fulfill whatever hopes they have, then they -- there's a structure already created to go north.

>> Michael Grant:
Lisa, I guess that my question, though, why doesn't the Mexican economy drive enough that the -- the special relationship or no, someone says, well, if I can make a decent wage, I just as soon stay home.

>> Lisa Magana:
I think there's a combination of factors. One of which I think timing has been one of the reasons that have accounted for poor economies in Mexico, and part of it, liberalization in trade policies that were not successful at a bad time, say, in the '70s and '80s that coincided with mass migration. But I want to emphasize but it's not unilateral, that there's two parts of this. The other part is, this is important, that this large population that is defined as illegal and part -- this is important, is that when someone is defined as illegal, and so this is important to think about, that as laws are created, as more restrictive laws are created, as we say that there are more people now deemed as being in the country illegally, this also raises the number of people -- these numbers, and so there's two parts of this whole process. It's not just Mexico isn't doing enough to retain these people. There's also pull factors that are going on here in this country, but there's also, in terms of laws and how we're defining these people. So one of the things my colleagues and I have talked about is that as laws have become more restrictive, of course the numbers of illegal or undocumented immigrants have gone up because we have deemed more people as illegal, and so -- I know we're not talking about this tonight, but one of the arguments for amnesty is that by changing the status of people from legal to legal, you actually reduce the total number of the undocumented or illegal immigration population.

>> Michael Grant:
Brian, we're almost out of time and this is way too big a question for the time we've got remaining, but we had an amnesty program in the mid-1980s. It's generally thought it didn't work. Indict work?

>> Brian Gratton:
Well, it certainly reduced the illegal population by fee ought, but most amnesty programs are -- tend to encourage more illegal immigration. I think that's pretty much conclusive not just from the United States experience but other national experiences.

>> Lisa Magana:
If I could add to that, how do you define success? So if you're going to say we were able to process over 3 million people by an agency that's traditionally been feared for very little money that some would tout amnesty is a great success, one of the greatest successes in terms of immigration policy in the U.S.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. We'll be poking and prodding a variety of questions throughout the week. Lisa, Magana, thank you very much for being here. Brian Gratton our thanks to you. Cecilia Menjivar, our thanks to you as well. This week on "Horizon," as I mentioned, we will be taking a look at the immigration question from the politics to the impact in the four-part series Arizona's Border Crisis. If you want to know more about what is coming up, please visit the web site. You'll find that at www.azpbs.org.

>>> Michael Grant:
Although they weren't segregated, Hispanics did face challenges when serving during World War II and not many served in the army Air Force. One who did is Gilbert Orrantia, a Mesa man flew more than 50 missions in a B-25 over Italy and Africa. Mike Sauceda tells us more about his exploits in tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
I remember one time there was a hole in the back on the top right between the bomb, a big hole, and it indicated that the shell had come when the Bombay doors were open because there was no hole in the bombay doors. There was a hole up on the top. And the jacket part was to the outside. So we knew it came through the bombay, and it exploded up above. We felt the concussion.

>> Mike Sauceda:
One of several narrow escapes by Mesa resident Gilbert Orrantia who flew 50 missions as a B25 pilot during World War II from November of 1942 until he returned stateside a year later to become a combat flight instructor. How narrow? The round could have hit these 100-pound bombs spaced apart by a couple feet. Orrantia was born in 1917 in Clarkdale and graduated from Clarkdale high school in 1936. After that he attended what was then known as Arizona state teachers college in Tempe for two years. That was enough to allow him to control his war destiny.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
By this time it was a school year '40-41. So the draft was being instituted, and we were signed up, and I was going to be drafted because I was real close to the original number that they pulled. So I decided I'd go ahead and volunteer for the army air corps, and they wanted you to have two years of college. That's what I said.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Orrantia met all the requirements to become a pilot as was undergoing psychological testing when the doctor asked about his nationality.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
You're a Mexican. Yes, I am. You're going to have a hard time. My reply to that was very simply, look, if I have passed all the examinations, you put your signature on that piece of paper, and I'll take my chances with the best you've got, and if I can't cut the mustard, I don't deserve to be a pilot. He said, if that's the way you want. I said, that's the only way I want it.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Orrantia trained in several states on various planes, rising to the rank of second lieutenant. His first mission was in northern Africa as a co-pilot.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
As we were going over the field and all the flak is bursting around us, I look over to the left, and they hit the ship and it was one of my buddies we had been together and they blew that ship apart. But, you know, they all got out. I saw the parachutes. I felt like my skin was crocodile skin. I felt real goofy. Oh, heck, that was a cinch.

>> Mike Sauceda:
As 86 years old, Orrantia is still able to climb into the cockpit of a restored B25 at the commemorative air force museum in Mesa.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
It's interesting to get back because as I look at this, I wonder now d I learn all those? Because you had to learn these by heart. They would blindfold you and you would say, well, this is the compass, this is -- this is the flight indicator. You would have to touch it and tell them what it was.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Being in a B25 for the first time in over 50 years, Orrantia remembered one of his most hair owing experiences as a B25 pilot, which came on a low-altitude bombing mission aimed at a German ship. Orrantia's job was to fly 200 feet above the ocean and skip bombs on the water like a stone and into the ship.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
I remember we were so low that my tail gunner would say, "Lieutenant, dip the tail and I'll get us some fish for lunch or supper." This is the part, this part right here, that was shot off.

>> Mike Sauceda:
But his bomber came under fire.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
That right vertical stabilizer, the one in the back there, was destroyed, and so we had to use left rudder, full left rudder, left stick and forward stick, and it took the co-pilot and myself all our strength to move that and hold it there, because we couldn't get any more altitude. We only had about 200 feet altitude over the ocean. When we had kind of ballooned up a little bit before they hit us from pretty close to the surface. When they blew that out, so we were holding it, and we get to an airfield that was only about 10, 15 minutes away, and we knew exactly where it was, it was a little English airfield called bone, so we land there had. It took a lot of doing to land, because, you know, it was very difficult to maneuver the plane. You had to make very slight movements so you wouldn't drop a wing. So we landed, and just stopped at the end of the runway, and pretty soon here come the British in the Jeep and they look up at the rudder, and it's all blown to heck. We had gotten down and looked at it. And they went around the plane and looked at it and said, blimey, how did you bloaks get that aircraft on the ground? Said, I don't know, but there it is.

>> Mike Sauceda:
There were other flight frightening moments during his 50 missions like a belly landing when the nose gear would not deploy or the time the windshield shattered.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
The windshield was all cracked and I had to fly this way to land because I couldn't see anything. We'd check the nosewheel, see that everything looked all right, and then we'd go on and check the props, check to see that they had been pulled through, because if they weren't pulled through the oil that collected in the bottom cylinder by explode that cylinder when you started pit that.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Hispanics were not segregated in the military and Orrantia was one of the few in the air corps. He said he didn't experience a lot of discrimination but there were some instances.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
A guy would say, well, Mexicans are dirty answers greasy, and he's an officer, he's a pilot, and he's a big guy, and he's as dark as I am. And he must have been about 6'4". And I happened to catch him saying to that a bunch of other officers when I came up. So I went straight up to him and I said, look, big boy, I said, what are you talking about? You're talking about who -- about me. I'm a Mexican. I'm a Mexican-American. Oh, no -- you know, the -- there -- their reply was always, oh, you're different. You're different. I said, bull, I'm not different. I'm just like every one of those people that are out there that you call Mexicans. And -- he apologized, and -- but -- you know, I never got to -- for a long tomb I didn't -- I just stayed away from him.

>> Mike Sauceda:
Orrantia's story is one of 77 featured in a book called Arizona Hispanic flyboys 1941 to 1945. It lists 185 Arizona Hispanics who served as pilots, co-pilots, bombardiers, gunners and radio operators planes touring World War II. He later became a French and Spanish professor at Mesa Community College and a community activist. It's been over 50 years since he's flown a B25 but it's an experience he's always carried with him.

>> Gilbert Orrantia:
It was a wonderful experience. I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. I loved flying them. I didn't particularly care for people shooting at me and stuff, but that comes with the territory.

>> Michael Grant:
Next Monday we'll mosey on over to Scottsdale to discover the beauty of the house which was built by the hands of apprentices, studying under a visionary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin west on the next "Arizona Story".

>>> Michael Grant:
A source of cheap labor, undocumented immigrants account for lower home prices, food prices and service costs. But what about the cost to taxpayers? "Horizon" looks at the economic impact of illegal immigrants and their cost to Arizona taxpayers. Tuesday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>> Michael Grant:
Wednesday we'll take a look at why illegal aliens are crossing the border in Arizona. Thursday we'll explore how the illegal immigration issue plays a part in politics. Friday join us for the Journalists Roundtable. Thanks for being here on a Monday. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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