Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

“With the downturn in the economy, Mexicans residing in Santa Ana legally and illegally began to look south. In the city of about 325,000, this Mexican flight has manifested itself in a number of ways: Census data show a decline in the city’s Latino population. Schools report plummeting enrollment. Foreclosed homes abound in historically Mexican immigrant neighborhoods,” according to the O.C. Register.



The affect of this mass exodus of Mexicans has been brutal.  Santa Ana businesses, from downtown wedding dress shops to Wal Mart, have suffered.  Our schools have lost hundreds of students.  The Register also published a separate article today about one family that took their daughters, who were honor students, back to Mexico.  Now they are trying to survive while surrounded by violence.

And Santa Ana has led the County of Orange in home foreclosures.  I have seen the affect of this firsthand, as a candidate for the SAUSD School Board last year.  I saw the change in demographics as I walked precincts last year.  Hundreds of the foreclosed homes are now occupied by Vietnamese American families.  That is a huge change as these families tend to be registered as Republicans – and they vote.

It is hard to quantify how many Mexicans have left, but when I visited this year’s Cinco de Mayo event, in downtown Santa Ana, it seemed half empty compared to previous years.

The affect on downtown Santa Ana has been so drastic that landlord Irv Chase changed the name of his Fiesta Marketplace, dubbing it the “East End Promenade,” and he hired a gay promoter, Archer Alstaetter, to market the area.  Altstaetter now has a business of his own – a costume store.

The changes Chase wrought did not go over well with many Latino business owners, and the backlash against gentrification grew louder when the landlord who rented space to El Centro Cultural de Mexico threw them out, based on lies that they had caused damage to his building.  They have since found a new home.

What about political change?  It will be a long time coming but I can definitely see a Vietnamese American getting elected in the next few years, to our City Council.  Changing our City Council elections from at-large to ward-specific would speed that process up.  But the Usual Suspects continue to oppose ward-specific elections, even though it is the only way they will ever have a voice in this city again – or at least in the next ten years.

With the advent of “top two” legislative elections we could see additional political impacts developing, perhaps as soon as next year.  Already we have a Latino vote split in the 69th Assembly District, where labor consultant Julio Perez is challenging Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez.  If Orange County Clerk Recorder Tom Daly does eventually file as a candidate as well, he could end up in the top two, thanks to the Latino vote split.  Any Democrat should prevail in the general election as the Republicans have dwindled in the 69th.

The haters are celebrating the exodus of Mexicans from Santa Ana.  Our City’s thirty million dollar deficit though is only going to grow as these consumers take their money elsewhere.  Ironically most of that deficit is in the form of pension benefits due to the mostly white folks who worked here in Santa Ana for so long.  Now they are bankrupting our city thanks to their overly generous pension benefits.

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

22 thoughts on “How will the return of immigrants to Mexico affect Santa Ana?”
  1. “The haters are celebrating the exodus of Mexicans from Santa Ana”…… Hmmmmm

    Admin, If you support US constitution as I do you must support a freedom of the movement.

    So if a Mexican decides to voluntary move, how is it hateful to say “Via Con Dios”

    I thing you should go with them too because there is nothing one can do to make you happy about Mexican issue, what ever it may be.

  2. “Hate,” eh? What, are Americans supposed to LIKE watching their country being unlawfully infested by a bunch of third world leeches, many of whom rob, steal, pillage, rape, and murder? Are you daft? Give me a break! Some things are simply intolerable for obvious reasons. I say build a wall and deport ’em all.

    1. So Porter, what Native American tribe do you hail from? Because if not, then your ancestors were Euro invaders. This Continent was already populated when the Euros arrived, although they did a Hell of a job depopulating it.

      As for the rest of your BS you are lying. Statistics show that immigrants tend to be more law-abiding than most. They just want to work and raise their families.

  3. “Statistics show that immigrants tend to be more law-abiding than most”……. Hmmmmm

    By definition “immigrants” aka illegals are 100% criminals under the federal statue which is not enforced.

    It is federal crime to cross the border without proper legal documents.

    1. Too bad it wasn’t a crime when the Euros invaded. Didn’t your home country get invaded repeatedly throughout its history? How did that work out FIala?

  4. “This Continent was already populated when the Euros arrived, although they did a Hell of a job depopulating it”…… Hmmmmm

    Here we go again!

    So you are actually underground La Raza, Aztlan National Socialist.

  5. FYI Admin, I have spend half day watching EURUSD going up and down and during the non activity, being bored of the FX marked, I took several minutes to comment on your hate of Mexican issue by the usual suspects and your regret that Hernando Cortez with about 600 men and 15 horses defeated Aztec empire, managing your people to fight against each other which they do to this day.

    End now you are so proud to talk same language which Hernando Cortez taught you. That how pathetic the Mexicans are.

    At least north American Indians still speak their native tongue, own casinos and do not illegally cross the borders.

    So grow up!

  6. At least you can see that much of the “gentrification battle” is due to outside market forces and not soley a “plot” against poor retailers. If you also note, it says the teenage girls in the OCRegister article wear Hollister, not the stuff from the Fourth Street stores. That is a HUGE part of the economic turn too – the changing purchasing choices by second and third generation Mexican immigrants. There are multiple causes to the changes in downtown, and I personally don’t believe any of them to be a “plot”, but purely market forces, and we are just beginning to notice it.

  7. The current marketing to other than the traditional Hispanic immigrant wil fail if it continues as it is.

    If the proper infrastructure to compete with other venues is installed multiple markets can co exist. With no proper infrastrucure to compete with other venues all will suffer.

    2nd, third, fourth generation Hispanics along with any other kind of shopper will choose other venues with the proper infrastructure for their comfort that is lacking here.

    A Old Navy Retail store here with no accommodating infra structure will not attract the shoppers that have a choice of the same store at South Coast Plaza that offers the infrastructure not found in Downtown Santa Ana.

    The historical Hispanic success of the Downtown Shopping District has been due to the first generation Hispanic immigrant shopper used to shopping with no supporting infra structure.

    Recent reduction of the traditional 1st generation shopper has ocured due to this shopper’s degree of assimilation that now seeks the proper infra structure of where to go shopping.

    WITHOUT THE PROPER INFRA STRUCTURE TO COMPETE THE SHOPPER WILL GO ELSE WHERE NO MATTER WHO THE SHOPPER (MARKET) IS.

    THE MARGINAL ATTRACTION TO THE ARTISTS VILLAGE IS DUE TO THE 20 SOMETHING CUSTOMER SEEKING A UNUSUAL VENUE MAYBE A LITTLE DARING VENUE TO GO HAVE DRINKS….SOME LIGHT EATING. WHEN THIS FAD WEARS OFF AND NOTHING ELSE IS SET FOR RETAIL(SUPPORTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE) THE WATERING HOLES WILL DRY UP AND RETAIL WILL CONTINUE TO SUFFER.

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