Bracero program

Bracero program

The bracero program (named for the Spanish term bracero, meaning "manual laborer" [lit. "one who works using his arms"]) was a series of laws and diplomatic agreements, initiated by an August 1942 exchange of diplomatic notes between the United States and Mexico, for the importation of temporary contract laborers from Mexico to the United States. At the start of the program, train loads of Mexican immigrants ready to work were sent over during the heart of WWII for the "emergency wartime agricultural and railroad importations". Shortages of food and other goods throughout the U.S caused chaos throughout the nation, leading to the bracero program as a solution.

American president Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Mexican president Manuel Ávila Camacho in Monterrey, Mexico, to discuss Mexico as part of the Allies in World War II and the bracero program. After the expiration of the initial agreement in 1947, the program was continued in agriculture under a variety of laws and administrative agreements until its formal end in 1964.


  • History 1
  • Bracero worker strikes in the Pacific Northwest 2
    • Partial list of strikes 2.1
    • Japanese–Mexican strike of 1943 2.2
    • 1946 strike of 1000 Mexican braceros in Idaho 2.3
    • Reasons for discontent amongst braceros all over the U.S. 2.4
    • Reasons for bracero strikes in the Northwest 2.5
    • End of the strikes 2.6
  • Significance 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • Exhibitions and collections 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • External links 9


"Mexican workers await legal employment in the United States", Mexicali, 1954

In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, more than 500,000 Mexicans were deported or pressured to leave, during the Mexican Repatriation. There were fewer Mexican workers available when labor demand returned with World War II.

The bracero program was initially prompted by a demand for manual labor during World War II and began with the U.S. government bringing in a few hundred experienced Mexican agricultural laborers to harvest sugar beets in the Stockton, California area. The program soon spread to cover most of the United States and provided workers for the agricultural labor market (with the notable exception being Texas, which initially opted out of the program in preference to an "open border" policy, and was denied braceros by the Mexican government until 1947 due to perceived mistreatment of Mexican laborers[1]). As a corollary, the railroad bracero program was independently negotiated to supply U.S. railroads initially with unskilled workers for railroad track maintenance but eventually to cover other unskilled and skilled labor. By 1945, the quota for the agricultural program was more than 75,000 braceros working in the U.S. railroad system and 50,000 braceros working in U.S. agriculture at any one time. The railroad program ended with the conclusion of World War II in 1945.

The bracero selection process involved passing a series of procedures at Mexican and U.S. processing centers. As part of the selection process, men were interviewed at regional migratory stations and at U.S. reception centers.[2] At both of these stages, potential bracero workers had their hands inspected for calluses, as an indication of their experience in agriculture.[2][3] Bracero applicants also underwent physical examinations and were checked for different diseases in order to assess their physical aptitude for labor in fields.[2] At U.S. reception centers, potential braceros, while undressed, were sprayed with DDT.[4][3][5] Another phase of selection involved applicants lining up and being questioned by U.S. labor contractors.[6][7][8]

At the behest of U.S. growers, who claimed ongoing labor shortages, the program was extended under a number of acts of congress until 1948. Between 1948 and 1951, the importation of Mexican agricultural laborers continued under negotiated administrative agreements between growers and the Mexican Government. On July 13, 1951, President Truman signed Public Law 78, a two-year program that embodied formalized protections for Mexican laborers. The program was renewed every two years until 1963 when, under growing objections by American labor interests,[9] it was extended for a single year with the understanding it would not be renewed. After the formal end of the agricultural program in 1964, there were agreements covering a much smaller number of contracts until 1967, after which no more braceros were granted.[1]

The program was voted out of existence by Congress in 1964, under mounting criticism for exploiting Mexican workers and depriving American workers of jobs. One of the factors spurring action by Congress was a September 1963 bus accident near Chualar in the Salinas Valley, killing 32 people, mostly braceros, and injuring 25. It was the worst road accident in U.S. history. The bus was an illegally converted flatbed truck, which was typical of the unsafe conditions braceros had to endure.[10][11][12]

The guest worker program continued until 1964.[13]

Braceros arriving in Los Angeles, CA, 1942
Year Number of Braceros Applicable U.S. Law
1942 4,203 (wartime)
1943 (44,600)[14] (wartime)
1944 62,170 (wartime)
1945 (44,600) (wartime)
1946 (44,600) Public Law 45
1947 (30,000)[15] PL 45, PL 40
1948 (30,000) Public Law 893
1948-50 (79,000/yr)[16] Period of administrative agreements
1951 192,000[17] AA/Public Law 78
1952 197,100 Public Law 78
1953 201,380 Public Law 78
1954 309,033 Public Law 78
1955 398,650 Public Law 78
1956 445,197 Public Law 78
1957 436,049 Public Law 78
1958 432,491 Public Law 78
1959 444,408 Public Law 78
1960 319,412 Public Law 78
1961 296,464 Public Law 78
1962 198,322 Public Law 78
1963 189,528 Public Law 78
1964 179,298 Public Law 78
1965 20,286 (after the formal end of the program)
1966 8,647
1967 7,703

August 1942, the Mexican Farm Labor Program Agreement is signed by the governments of Mexico and the United States, the first establishing the legalization and control of Mexican migrant workers along America’s southern border area.[18] The program in agriculture was justified in the U.S. largely as an alternative to illegal immigration and was seen as a complement to efforts to deport undocumented immigrants such as Operation Wetback, under which 1,075,168 Mexicans were deported in 1954.[1] Scholars who have closely studied Mexican migration in this period have questioned this interpretation,[1] emphasizing instead the complementary nature of legal and illegal migration.[19] Scholars of this school suggest that the decision to hire Mexicans through the bracero program or via extralegal contractors depended mostly on which seemed more suitable to needs of agribusiness employers, attributing the expansion of the bracero program in the late 1950s to the relaxation of enforcement of regulations on Bracero wages, housing, and food charges.[9]

The workers who participated in the bracero program have generated significant local and international struggles challenging the U.S. government and Mexican government to identify and return 10 percent mandatory deductions taken from their pay, from 1942 to 1948, for savings accounts that they were legally guaranteed to receive upon their return to Mexico at the conclusion of their contracts. Many field working braceros never received their savings, but most railroad working braceros did. Lawsuits presented in federal courts in California, in the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade), highlighted the substandard conditions and documented the ultimate destiny of the savings accounts deductions, but the suit was thrown out because the Mexican banks in question never operated in the United States. Today, it is stipulated that ex-braceros can receive up to $3,500.00 as compensation for the 10% only by supplying check stubs or contracts proving they were part of the program during 1942 to 1948. It is estimated that, with interest accumulated, $500 million is owed to ex-braceros, who continue to fight to receive the money owed to them.

Bracero worker strikes in the Pacific Northwest

Bracero worker strikes were common in the Pacific Northwest during the four-year period of 1943–1946. Professor Erasmo Gamboa counters the stereotypical view of braceros as model workers by noting: “This prevailing stereotype of braceros as docile, undemanding, and incapable of organizing themselves to press for better working conditions does not hold true in the Northwest, where braceros were constantly on strike, and this made the region unique among other parts of the country.”[20]

Ernesto Galarza emphasized that bracero workers rarely publicly criticized bracero camp officials or government labor officials in states outside the Northwest.[21]

Partial list of strikes

  • January–February (exact dates aren’t noted) 1943: In Burlington, Washington braceros strike because farmers were paying higher wages to Anglos than to the braceros doing similar work.[22]
  • May 1944: Braceros in Preston, Idaho struck over wages.[23]
  • July and September 1944: Braceros near Rupert and Wilder, Idaho strike over wages.[24]
  • October 1944: Braceros in Sugar City and Lincoln, Idaho refused to harvest beets after earning higher wages picking potatoes.[25]
  • May–June 1945: Bracero asparagus cutters in Walla Walla, Washington struck for twelve days complaining they grossed only between $4.16 and $8.33 in that time period.[26]
  • June 1945: Braceros from Caldwell-Boise sugar beet farms struck when hourly wages were .20 cents less than the established rate set by the County Extension Service. They won a wage increase.[27]
  • June 1945: Three weeks later braceros at Emmett struck for higher wages.[28]
  • July 1945: In Idaho Falls, 170 braceros organized a sit-down strike that lasted nine days after fifty cherry pickers refused to work at the prevailing rate.[29]
  • October 1945: In Klamath Falls, Oregon, braceros and transient workers from California refuse to pick potatoes due to insufficient wages.[30]
  • A majority of Oregon’s Mexican labor camps were affected by “labor unrest and stoppages” in 1945.[31]
  • November 1946: In Wenatchee, Washington, 100 braceros refuse to be shipped to Idaho to harvest beets and demand a train back to Mexico.[32]

The number of strikes in the Pacific Northwest is much longer than this list. Two strikes in particular should be highlighted for their character and scope: the Japanese-Mexican strike of 1943 in Dayton, Washington[33] and the June 1946 strike of 1000 plus braceros that refused to harvest lettuce and peas in Idaho.

Japanese–Mexican strike of 1943

The 1943 strike in Dayton, Washington, is unique in the unity it showed between Mexican braceros and Japanese-American workers. The wartime labor shortage not only led to tens of thousands of Mexican braceros being used on Northwest farms, it also saw the U.S. government allow some ten thousand Japanese Americans, who were placed against their will in internment camps during World War II, to leave the camps in order to work on farms in the Northwest.[34] The strike at Blue Mountain Cannery erupted in late July. After "a white female came forward stating that she had been assaulted and described her assailant as 'looking Mexican' … the prosecutor’s and sheriff’s office imposed a mandatory 'restriction order' on both the Mexican and Japanese camps."[35] No investigation took place nor were any Japanese or Mexican workers asked their opinions on what happened.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported the restriction order read:

Males of Japanese and or Mexican extraction or parentage are restricted to that area of Main Street of Dayton, lying between Front Street and the easterly end of Main Street. The aforesaid males of Japanese and or Mexican extraction are expressly forbidden to enter at any time any portion of the residential district of said city under penalty of law.[36]

The workers' response came in the form of a strike against this perceived injustice. Some 170 Mexicans and 230 Japanese struck. After multiple meetings including some combination of government officials, Cannery officials, the county sheriff, the Mayor of Dayton and representatives of the workers, the restriction order was voided. Those in power actually showed little concern over the alleged assault. Their real concern was ensuring the workers got back into the fields. Threats of sending in army soldiers to force them back to work were made.[37] Two days later the strike ended. Many of the Japanese and Mexican workers had threatened to return to their original homes, but most stayed there to help harvest an excellent pea crop.

1946 strike of 1000 Mexican braceros in Idaho

On June 17, 1946, around 400 Mexican braceros from three different Nampa, Idaho labor camps struck and literally took to the streets of Nampa. Over 600 additional braceros from the Marsing, Franklin, Upper Deer Flat and Amalgamated Sugar Company camps joined them.[38] Government officials described it as a “general strike”.[39] The strikers demanded wages similar to a higher wage scale in another part of Canyon County, Idaho. They consciously timed the walkout to coincide with the lettuce and pea harvest when their labor was needed the most. Additional leverage for the strikers was gained due to the ending of World War II with prisoners of war no longer being available to work in the fields as they had done during the war.[40] The farm labor associations refused to budge on their demands. Nine days later, the Mexican Consul Carlos Grimm convinced the workers to end the strike with the understanding he’d represent their demands at a future county wage stabilization board hearing. Twelve days later, the braceros argued for a uniform $0.70 an hour wage. The growers convinced the board to do nothing. Despite additional threats by the Mexican Consul to remove the braceros if their wage demands weren’t met, the strike ended without any increase in wages or repatriation back to Mexico.[41]

Reasons for discontent amongst braceros all over the U.S.

First, like braceros in other parts of the U.S., those in the Northwest came to the U.S. looking for employment with the goal of improving their lives. Yet, the power dynamic all braceros encountered offered little space or control by them over their living environment or working conditions. As Gamboa points out, farmers controlled the pay (and kept it very low), hours of work and even transportation to and from work. Transportation and living expenses from the place of origin to destination, and return, as well as expenses incurred in the fulfillment of any requirements of a migratory nature should have been met by the employer. Mexican workers will be furnished without cost to them with hygienic lodgings and the medical and sanitary services enjoyed without cost to them will be identical with those furnished to the other agricultural workers in regions where they may lend their services. These were the words of agreements that all Bracero employers had to come to and sad enough, they couldn't stick with what they agreed on. Braceros had no say on any committees, agencies or boards that existed ostensibly to help establish fair working conditions for them.[42] The lack of quality food angered braceros all over the U.S. According to the War Food Administrator, "Securing able cooks who were Mexicans or who had had experience in Mexican cooking was a problem that was never completely solved."[43] John Willard Carrigan, who was an authority on this subject after visiting multiple camps in California and Colorado in 1943 and 1944, commented, "Food preparation has not been adapted to the workers' habits sufficiently to eliminate vigorous criticisms. The men seem to agree on the following points: 1.) the quantity of food is sufficient, 2.) evening meals are plentiful, 3.) breakfast often is served earlier than warranted, 4.) bag lunches are universally disliked....In some camps efforts have been made to vary the diet more in accord with Mexican taste. The cold sandwich lunch with a piece of fruit, however, persists almost everywhere as the principal cause of discontent."[44] Finally, not only was the pay extremely low, but braceros often weren't paid on a timely basis. A letter from Howard A. Preston describes payroll issues that many braceros faced, "The difficulty lay chiefly in the customary method of computing earnings on a piecework basis after a job was completed. This meant that full payment was delayed for long after the end of regular pay periods. It was also charged that time actually worked was not entered on the daily time slips and that payment was sometimes less than 30 cents per hour. April 9, 1943,the Mexican Labor Agreement is sanctioned by Congress though Public Law 45 which led to the agreement of a guaranteed a minimum wage of 30 cents per hour and “humane treatment” for workers involved in the program. "[45]

Reasons for bracero strikes in the Northwest

One key difference between the Northwest and braceros in the Southwest or other parts of the U.S. involved the lack of Mexican government labor inspectors. According to Galarza, “In 1943, ten Mexican labor inspectors were assigned to ensure contract compliance throughout the United States; most were assigned to the Southwest and two were responsible for the northwestern area.”[46] The lack of inspectors made the policing of pay and working conditions in the Northwest extremely difficult. The farmers set up powerful collective bodies like the Associated Farmers Incorporated of Washington with a united goal of keeping pay down and any union agitators or communists out of the fields.[47] The Associated Farmers used various types of law enforcement officials to keep “order” including privatized law enforcement officers, the state highway patrol and even the National Guard.[48] Another difference is the proximity, or not, to the Mexican border. In the Southwest, employers could easily threaten braceros with deportation knowing the ease with which new braceros could replace them. However, in the Northwest due to the much farther distance and cost associated with travel made threats of deportation harder to follow through with. Knowing this difficulty, the Mexican consulate in Salt Lake City, and later the one in Portland, Oregon, encouraged workers to protest their conditions and advocated on their behalf much more than the Mexican consulates did for braceros in the Southwest.[49] Combine all these reasons together and it created a climate where braceros in the Northwest felt they had no other choice, but to strike in order for their voices to be heard.

End of the strikes

While most of the strikes, including the most militant ones like the June 1947 strike of 1000 braceros in and around Nampa, Idaho, ended in defeat, the strikes continued through 1946. However, the turning point in their militancy came in the form of a November 1946 decree by President Harry Truman to end all wage controls in agriculture that had been set up during the war.[50] With the federal government no longer helping to set minimum wage levels, when 1947 rolled around, growers united to keep agricultural wages extremely low. 1947 marked the first year since the bracero program started that Mexican braceros didn’t strike for higher wages.[51] Gamboa argues that while some farmers were “racist or heartless monsters”, the overriding factor was the “basic principle of buying the cheapest labor on the market.”[52] Farmers united in employer associations and with the help of various levels of federal, state, and local government and law enforcement officials, conspired to keep the braceros pay low. Gamboa believes, “Farmers dehumanized the Mexican men and reduced them to a semicaptive labor force that resembled Latin American peonage.”[52]


Even though the United States had made use of migrant Mexican labor in its agricultural sector since the early 20th century, such labor tended to be both migratory and seasonal, with many workers returning to Mexico in the winter. The situation changed with the involvement of the United States in World War II, which caused a massive labor shortage in all sectors of the economy with the transfer of much of the nation's active labor force into the various armed services. The extreme labor shortage forced the United States into changing its immigration policy, resulting in development of the bracero program in conjunction with Mexico.

The bracero program was a guest-worker program that ran between the years of 1942 and 1964. Over those 22 years, the Mexican Farm Labor Program, informally known as the "bracero program", sponsored some 4.5 million border crossings of guest workers from Mexico (some among these representing repeat visits by returned braceros). Many braceros succeeded in securing green cards and legal residency, while others (known as "quits") simply left the fields and headed for work in the cities. As of 2014 millions of Mexican Americans trace their families' roots in the US to their fathers' or grandfathers' arrival as braceros.

Recent scholarship highlights that the program generated controversy in Mexico from the outset. Mexican employers and local officials feared labor shortages, especially in the states of west-central Mexico that traditionally sent the majority of migrants north (Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Zacatecas). The Catholic Church warned that emigration would break families apart and expose braceros to Protestant missionaries and to labor camps where drinking, gambling, and prostitution flourished. Others deplored the negative image that the braceros' departure produced for the Mexican nation. The political opposition even used the exodus of braceros as evidence of the failure of government policies, especially the agrarian reform program implemented by the post-revolutionary government in the 1930s. On the other hand, historians like Michael Snodgrass and Deborah Cohen demonstrate why the program proved popular among so many migrants, for whom seasonal work in the US offered great opportunities, despite the poor conditions they often faced in the fields and housing camps. They saved money, purchased new tools or used trucks, and returned home with new outlooks and with a greater sense of dignity. Social scientists doing field work in rural Mexico at the time observed these positive economic and cultural effects of bracero migration. The bracero program looked different from the perspective of the participants rather than from the perspective of its many critics in the US and Mexico.

U.S. businesses increasingly realized that provisions within the program ensured an increase of costs for the imported labor. The program mandated a certain level of wages, housing, food and medical care for the workers (all payable by the employers) that kept the standard of living above what many had in Mexico. This not only enabled many to send funds home to their families but also had the unintended effect of encouraging illegal immigration after the filling of quotas for official workers in the U.S.

These new illegal workers could not be employed as part of the program, leaving them vulnerable to working for lower wages and without the benefits received by workers under the bracero program. This, in turn, had the effect of eroding the U.S. agricultural sector's support for the program in favor of hiring illegal immigrants to reduce costs. The advantages of hiring illegal workers included such workers' willingness to work for lower wages, without support, health coverage or in many cases legal means to address abuses by the employers for fear of deportation. Nevertheless, conditions for the poor and unemployed in Mexico were such that illegal employment motivated many to work in the United States illegally.

In 1956 the publication of the book Stranger in Our Fields by labor organizer Ernesto Galarza drew attention to the conditions experienced by braceros. The book begins with this statement from a worker: "In this camp, we have no names. we are called only by numbers." The book concluded that workers were lied to, cheated and "shamefully neglected". The U.S. Department of Labor officer in charge of the program, Lee G. Williams, described the program as a system of "legalized slavery".

Labor unions that tried to organize agricultural workers after World War II targeted the bracero program as a key impediment to improving the wages of domestic farm workers.[53] These unions included the National Farm Laborers Union (NFLU), later called the National Agricultural Workers Union (NAWU), headed by Oxnard, California, which culminated in a protest of domestic U.S. agricultural workers of the U.S. Department of Labor's administration of the program.[53] In January 1961, in an effort to publicize the effects of bracero labor on labor standards, the AWOC led a strike of lettuce workers at 18 farms in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural region on the California-Mexico border and a major destination for braceros.[54]

The end of the bracero program in 1964 was followed by the rise to prominence of the United Farm Workers. According to Manuel Garcia y Griego, a political scientist and author of The Importation of Mexican Contract Laborers to the United States 1942–1964,[55] the Contract-Labor Program "left an important legacy for the economies, migration patterns, and politics of the United States and Mexico". Griego's article discusses the bargaining position of both countries, arguing that the Mexican government lost all real bargaining-power after 1950.

In popular culture

  • Woody Guthrie's poem "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)", set to music by Martin Hoffman, commemorates the deaths of 28 braceros being repatriated to Mexico in January 1948. The song has been recorded by dozens of folk artists.
  • Protest singer Phil Ochs's song "Bracero" focuses on the exploitation of the Mexican workers in the program.
  • A minor character in the 1948 Mexican film Nosotros los pobres wants to become a bracero.
  • The 1949 film Border Incident looks at the issue.
  • Famed satirist

Exhibitions and collections

On September 9, 2010 the Smithsonian National Museum of American History opened a bilingual exhibition titled, "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942–1964." Through photographs and audio excerpts from oral histories, this exhibition examined the experiences of bracero workers and their families while providing insight into the history of Mexican Americans and historical context to today's debates on guest worker programs. The exhibition included a collection of photographs taken by photojournalist Leonard Nadel in 1956, as well as documents, objects, and an audio station featuring oral histories collected by the Bracero Oral History Project. The exhibition closed on January 3, 2010. The exhibition was converted to a traveling exhibition in February 2010 and traveled to Arizona, California, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas under the auspices of Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.[56]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ Nadel, Leonard. "Braceros were fumigated with DDT while others stand in line at the Hidalgo Processing Center, Texas", "Bracero History Archive" Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Nadel, Leonard. "An agent for the Texas growers association examines the musclulature of a bracero at the Hidalgo Processing Center, Texas", "Bracero History Archive" Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  8. ^ Nadel, Leonard. "An agent from the Texas growers association selects braceros for distribution among his association members in Hidalgo, Texas", "Bracero History Archive" Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b Martin, Philip (2006-07-03). "The Bracero Program: Was It a Failure?" History News Network, 3 July 2006. Retrieved from
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Braceroarchive
  14. ^ average for '43,'45,'46 calculated from total of 220,000 braceros contracted '42-'47, cited in Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)
  15. ^ average for '47,'48 calculated from total of 74,600 braceros contracted '47-49, cited in Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)
  16. ^ average calculated from total of 401,845 braceros under the period of negotiated administrative agreements, cited in Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)
  17. ^ Data 1951-1967 cited in Gutiérrez, David Gregory, Between two worlds (1996)
  18. ^ 2015, Center for History and New Media
  19. ^ Galarza, Ernesto Farmworkers and Agri-business in California, 1947-1960 (1976)
  20. ^ Erasmo Gamboa, Mexican Labor and World War II: Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, 1942–1947, University of Washington Press. P. 75.
  21. ^ Ernesto Galarza, “Personal and Confidential Memorandum on Mexican Contract Workers in the United States, August 28, 1944,” Box 4821, File: Mexico, pp. 1-10, RG 59, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 75.
  22. ^ Northwest Farm News, Feb. 3, 1944. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 80.
  23. ^ Narrative, June 1944, Preston, Idaho, Box 52, File: Idaho, GCRG224, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 81.
  24. ^ Narrative, July 1944, Rupert, Idaho, Box 52, File: Idaho; Narrative, Oct. 1944, Lincoln, Idaho; all in GCRG224, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 81-82.
  25. ^ Narrative, Oct. 1944, Sugar City, Idaho, Box 52, File: Idaho; Narrative, Oct. 1944, Lincoln, Idaho; all in GCRG224, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 82.
  26. ^ Visitation Reports, Walter E. Zuger, Walla Walla County, June 12, 1945, EFLR, WSUA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
  27. ^ Idaho Daily Statesman, June 8, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
  28. ^ Idaho Daily Statesman, June 29, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
  29. ^ Idaho Daily Statesman, July 11, 14, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
  30. ^ Daily Statesman, Oct. 5, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 82.
  31. ^ Annual Report of State Supervisor of Emergency Farm Labor Program 1945, Extension Service, p. 56, OSUA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 82.
  32. ^ Marshall, Maureen E. Wenatchee's Dark Past. Wenatchee, Wash: The Wenatchee World, 2008.
  33. ^ Jerry Garcia and Gilberto Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, Chapter 3: Japanese and Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest, 1900-1945, pp. 85-128.
  34. ^ Roger Daniels, Prisoners without Trials: Japanese Americans in World War II (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993), 74. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 104.
  35. ^ College of Washington and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating, Specialist Record of County Visit, Columbia County, Walter E. Zuger, Assistant State Farm Labor Supervisor, July 21–22, 1943. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 112.
  36. ^ "Cannery Shut Down By Work Halt." Walla Walla Union Bulletin, July 22, 1943. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 113.
  37. ^ College of Washington and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating, Specialist Record of County Visit, Columbia County, Walter E. Zuger, Assistant State Farm Labor Supervisor, July 21–22, 1943. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 113.
  38. ^ Idaho Daily Statesman, June 18, 20, 25, 26, 1946. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 75.
  39. ^ Narrative, June 1946, Nampa, Idaho, Box 100, File: Nampa, Idaho, GCRG 224, NA; Idaho Daily Statesman, June 18, 1946. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 87.
  40. ^ Idaho Daily Statesman, June 20, 1946. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 86-87.
  41. ^ Idaho Daily Statesman, June 12, 22, 26, 29, 1946. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 87.
  42. ^ Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 74-75.
  43. ^ Letter, War Food Administrator to Secretary of State, June 15, 1943. Cited in "A History of the Emergency Farm Labor Supply Program 1943-1947", Wayne Rasmussen, p. 229.
  44. ^ Memorandum transmitted to Brig. Gen. Philip G. Burton by John Willard Carigan, Sept. 23, 1944. Cited in "A History of the Emergency Farm Labor Supply Program 1943-1947", Wayne Rasmussen, p. 230.
  45. ^ Letter, Howard A. Preston to Chief of Operations, Chicago, Illinois, Sept. 24, 1945. Cited in "A History of the Emergency Farm Labor Supply Program 1943-1947", Wayne Rasmussen, p. 232.
  46. ^ Ernesto Galarza, “Personal and Confidential Memorandum”. P. 8-9. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 75.
  47. ^ Northwest Farm News, Jan. 13, 1938. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 76.
  48. ^ Idaho Falls Post Register, Sept. 12, 1938; Yakima Daily Republic, Aug. 25, 1933. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 76.
  49. ^ Ernesto Galarza, Merchants of Labor: The Mexican Bracero Story, 1964. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 77.
  50. ^ Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 88.
  51. ^ Narrative, Aug. 1947, Nyssa, Oregon, Box 111, File: Camps, Oregon, GCRG224, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 89.
  52. ^ a b Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 90.
  53. ^ a b Ferris, Susan, and Sandoval, Ricardo, The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement (1997)
  54. ^ Los Angeles Times, 1/23/1961 "Lettuce Farm Strike Part of Deliberate Union Plan"
  55. ^ Manuel García y Griego, "The Importation of Mexican Contract Laborers to the United States, 1942–1964", in David G. Gutiérrez, ed. Between Two Worlds: Mexican Immigrants in the United States (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources,1996), 45-85
  56. ^

50. Alvarado, Barbara Driscoll De. The Tracks North: The Railroad Bracero Program of World War II. Austin, TX: CMAS Books, Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1999.

51. Mitchell, Don. They Saved the Crops: Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle over Industrial Farming in Bracero-era California. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012.

52. 2015, Center for History and New Media


  • Deborah Cohen, Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • Koestler, Fred L. (2010-02-22). Bracero Program. Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association, 22 February 2010. Retrieved from
  • Don Mitchell, They Saved the Crops: Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle Over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2012.
  • Michael Snodgrass, “The Bracero Program, 1942–1964,” in Beyond the Border: The History of Mexican-U.S. Migration, Mark Overmyer-Velásquez, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 79–102.
  • Michael Snodgrass, “Patronage and Progress: The bracero program from the Perspective of Mexico,” in Workers Across the Americas: The Transnational Turn in Labor History, Leon Fink, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 245–66.
  • Otey M. Scruggs, "Texas and the Bracero Program, 1942–1947," Pacific Historical Review (1963) 32#3 pp. 251–264 in JSTOR

External links

  • The Bracero Project
  • Los Braceros: Strong Arms to Aid the USA - Public Television Program
  • Bracero History Archive
  • Braceros in Oregon Photograph Collection
  • Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942–1964 An online exhibition from the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution