When Colorado Closed the Door on the Poor

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Great article. Food for thought in our current political climate. Thank you so much.

In reply to by Jim (not verified)

Thanks so much for the kind words. History never ceases to inform the future.


Alex, I know this won't fit your politically correct narrative, but "Alien" is a legal term for non-citizen. It has nothing to do with dehumanizing anyone. It's the same for Swedish non-citizens as it is for Mexican non-citizens.

Thank you for your thoughts, Dina. What was perhaps most surprising about this instance was that "alien" was being applied not only to non-citizens but also to citizens from other US states. These "Okies" and Texans were not "aliens" by any definition but were treated as though they were, effectively stripping them of their American citizenship. Hopefully this clarifies the article.

"Alien" as defined by the online Oxford English Dictionary, definition # 2. Of a foreign nature or character; strange, unfamiliar, different. Also: hostile, repugnant. The term has been weaponized by the current U.S. administration to define those non-citizens as hostile and repugnant.. Let's see, then, all white, Europeans, who came to this country, from 1607 onward, would be "illegal aliens" too the native population?

Very interesting. I did not know that part of Colorado history. Thanks so much for this article.

Thank you so much. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our stories as we stumble into the lesser known corners of our history.

Great way to twist history to your PC inclinations. Try putting your boots on the ground in the 1930's in Colorado.

I'm not clear on what part of the story you think I got wrong, but thanks for your interest in this important story. 


Thank you for this informative article. I am inspired to use this information in teaching Colorado history at the elementary level by modifying Zinn Education Project's "Deportation on Trial" simulation to include Gov. Johnson as one of the indicted for the 1929-1939 period of deportation. https://www.zinnedproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Deportation-on-Trial.4.pdf. This is part of a larger 4th grade unit I'm developing called "Colorado’s Sugar Beet Boom; German-Russian and Mexican Farmers Struggle for Social Mobility Between 1900 and 1939.". Thanks again for this critical content!

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