Many American's who are not familiar with Mexican and Central American immigration may fall into the trap of thinking that there are no differences between the people, migrations, or the implications that these migrations have had on the economy in the United States. Absolutely, the United State's industries and businesses are dependent upon the existing Mexican and Central American immigration labor force to take the lower echelon jobs, but the immigration process and the factors surrounding the immigration have many differences. Consequently, I argue that although Central American and Mexican immigrants are racialized as Latinos who take jobs away from American citizens, hold similar social status, and both use networks, the immigration by the people from Mexico since the 1960's has many differences from that of the people of Central America. However, before going into detail about these two countries separately, it is necessary to discuss the similarities concerning immigrants from these Latin American countries.
In the mid-1960's the issue of Mexican or Latin American immigration virtually disappeared as an issue in national politics because of "intensifying civil rights movement, urban unrest, and the escalation of the war in Vietnam (Gutierrez, 180)." However, the disappearance of the issue proved to be brief. Consequently, in 1970 and 1971 a recession made both Central American and Mexican immigrants targets of criticism because of the thought that "illegal aliens" were stealing jobs from American citizens. Immigrants from these Latin American countries were racialized together as being a threat to taking jobs away from citizens. A recession tends to trigger this type of reaction because of the scarcity of jobs. .
Along with being racialized together, Mexican and Central American immigrants are economically positioned to take the lower echelon jobs. Evidence supporting this claim is found in Ethnic Los Angeles chapter 10.