A distinguished researcher and speaker who has appeared on Texas Public Radio and C-Span Book TV, Dr. Melita M. Garza has earned honors such as the Latino/Latin American Research (LARA) Award. Alongside serving as associate professor at the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University, Dr. Melita Marie Garza published They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representations of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression.
A historical journalistic work, They Came to Toil investigates the forced deportation of Mexican immigrants in the 1930s under President Hoover in order to shed light on current issues. Part of the Long Civil Rights Movement, these events received substantially different portrayals in different news sources at the time.
For example, the Mexican newspaper La Prensa reported on individual stories, offering a compassionate look at immigration issues. The San Antonio Express, on the other hand, included varied responses from vilifying immigrants to promoting Mexican labor. They Came to Toil examines these different responses and the historical context, thereby revealing perspectives on immigrants that affect current issues.