In 1954, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service made the word "wetback" official by naming the mission to remove illegal immigrants from the United States, Operation Wetback . In response to the increase of immigrants during the early 1950s, the agency developed the program to force immigrants (particularly Mexicans) back to their home countries. Aproximately one million Mexican Americans were deported in one year.
Today the term "wetback" is often used to express animosity towards Central American or Latin American immigrants--legal and illegal--who do not speak English. Meanwhile, in an attempt to reclaim the word, some Mexican-Americans call themselves Los Mojados, meaning "the wet ones."
~ This definition courtsey of www.gurl.com
Ed : Take it easy, man. He came over here as a baby on his mother's back. It's not his fault.
In 1949 the Border Patrol seized nearly 280,000 illegal immigrants. By 1953, the numbers had grown to more than 865,000, and the U.S. government felt pressured to do something about the onslaught of immigration. What resulted was Operation Wetback, devised in 1954 under the supervision of new commissioner of the Immigration and Nationalization Service, Gen. Joseph Swing.
Swing oversaw the Border patrol, and organized state and local officials along with the police. The object of his intense border enforcement were "illegal aliens," but common practice of Operation Wetback focused on Mexicans in general. The police swarmed through Mexican American barrios throughout the southeastern states. Some Mexicans, fearful of the potential violence of this militarization, fled back south across the border. In 1954, the agents discovered over 1 million illegal immigrants.
In some cases, illegal immigrants were deported along with their American-born children, who were by law U.S. citizens. The agents used a wide brush in their criteria for interrogating potential aliens. They adopted the practice of stopping "Mexican-looking" citizens on the street and asking for identification. This practice incited and angered many U.S. citizens who were of Mexican American descent. Opponents in both the United States and Mexico complained of "police-state" methods, and Operation Wetback was abandoned.
"Damn Robin's a filthy wet back!
....yeah so's Dolly man"
"That guy's a bit too wet back for my liking"