The borders between Mexico and the United States exercised freedom of movement between the two countries before the Mexican-American War. The conclusion of the war gave massive tracts of land to the United States and began a drawing up of new borders that had previously never existed. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded parts of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah to the United States. Mexico relinquished all claims to Texas, recognizing the Rio Grande as the southern boundary to the United States. El Paso Del Norte was divided into two separate towns. El Paso Del Norte would later become Juarez on the Mexico side and El Paso on the American Side. The arrival of the railroad in 1881 connected the towns to an international grid of railroad connections. These connections brought boomtown aspirations to El Paso, turning the town into a central site of industrialization, urbanization, and immigration.
The border between Mexico and the United States utilized many points of entry into the United States. Due to the railroad and its booming industrial aspirations, the town of El Paso became the main location for immigration into the United States from the southern border. The state of Texas had multiple points of entry into the United States alone; however, there were three points of entry at Eagle Pass, Loredo, and El Paso, which was the main point of entry for the Southern Border. The arrival of the railroad in 1881 created a population boom on the borderlands leading to a backlog on immigration, which, in addition to lack of personnel and administration, resulted in unsanitary living conditions, botched medical examinations, and unnecessary deportations. The stations lacked translators, janitors, housing, and medical inspectors. Evidence of this is found through a letter discussing the sanitary conditions and the request for a Spanish speaking female janitor to be hired for the purpose of translating and assisting the medical inspectors with female immigrants.
To read more about the Medical inspectors who worked at these stations, click here
To read more about the medical examinations themselves, click here
To read more about those allowed entry to be treated, click here
To read our conclusion on our findings, click here