The year was 1953 and 3 million illegal aliens were residing in the United States. That doesn’t seem like much by today’s standards, but our population was just a fraction of what it is now.
It was the same year one of America’s greatest generals became president: Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Ike called it as he saw it quoting a New York Times article: “The rise in illegal border crossing by Mexican ‘wetbacks’ to a current rate of more than 1 million cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the federal government.”
Needless to say, Eisenhower had a real problem with illegal aliens. In 1954 he appointed retired general Joseph Swing to head up the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and gave him full authority to do what he had to do to stop the flow of illegals and deport the ones already here.
“Jumpin Joe,” as he was called from his days in the 11th airborne, got to work and did so with a mere 1075 agents. He tasked 750 of those agents to travel to Southern California and Arizona to round up 1000 illegals per day.
“Operation Wetback,” as they called it, began on June 17, 1954. By the end of July, they had caught 50,000 in just those two states. And what happened then, is what we have been saying for years. Another half-million fled the country on their own rather than be arrested.
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