Watsonville Riots

There was animosity towards Filipino new arrivals. Plantation and farm owners used Filipinos to break possible strikes by other immigrants that were asking to be paid more. This really didn't sit to well with the other immigrant workers and animosity towards them began to grow.

The majority of the Filipino workers were men and a few were women. Soon Filipino men would pursue white women and local white men disapproved. There was still the anti-mecegenation law in effect were interracial marriage was forbidden so many Filipino men, the manongs, were bachelors.


There were riots throughout California

So with Tobera's death and the outrage in the Philippines when his body was returned, along with the hatred of the mob in Watsonville, do you think that could have been a factor in expediting the Tydings-McDuffie Act in an effort to alienate Filipino workers and send them back to the Philippines?

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Tydings-McDuffie ACT

The Tydings-McDuffie Act is known as the Philippines Independence Act that provided a 10 year transition period of power. On March 24, 1934 President Franklin D Roosevelt signed the act into legislation. As a result the immigration status of all Filipinos residing in America changed to alien citizenship and if any wanted to leave the United States to visit the Philippines they would be subject to existing Asian Immigration restrictions and more then likely not be able to return to America

I could only imagine what was going through my father's thoughts at that time. He did have an older brother who returned to the Philippines and could not come back. Not sure if my father was homesick for a young man in his early 20s, he had to decide whether to stay and remain an alien or go back to the Philippines for good. If he involved himself with any labor disputes in Hawaii he could have ran the risk of being deported so after his 3 year work contract in Hawaii was over he was free to seek employment elsewhere. The average salary for Filipinos working in Hawaiian sugar plantations was $1.25 a day and in California a farmworker could make as much as $4 a day so the move to California made more sense.