Bracero Program As many Americans were preparing for World War II, Mexican citizens were preparing themselves to migrate from Mexico into the United States. This migration is known as the Bracero Program. The Bracero program took place during WWII and was organized by the United States and Mexican governments that permitted Mexican citizens to temporarily work in the agriculture of the Unites States. This program was the solution to the U. S. labor needs, which was a shortage on manpower that was caused by WWII.
Mexican citizens were legally hired to work in the United States, mainly targeting California and Texas. Mexican citizens were eager to work for any pay. The Bracero Program established a cycle of immigration that consisted of migrating to the United States for temporary work then going back to Mexico to spend some time with the family. Public Law 78 was the agreement that was established between Mexico and the United States that guaranteed specific benefits and protections for the migrant workers. This agreement was first formalized in July 3, 1942, and was signed by both the Mexican and U.S. representatives.
The final agreement was established a year after, including the return of the migrants savings that was taken away from their paychecks, and their rights. Migrants had the right of free sanitary housing, medical treatments, bathing facilities and transportation. Mexican migrants were issued their contract in Spanish highlighting their equal rights as American farmers by receiving the same minimum wage, “Wages to be paid the worker shall be the same as those paid for similar work to other agriculture aborers under the same conditions within the same are. l Thousands of contracts were issued during this time, many of these contracts failed to proceed the Public Law 78, that underlines “Contracts will be made between the employer and the worker under the supervision of the Mexican Government. (Contracts must be written in Spanish. “l Therefore, many Mexican immigrants were blinded and didn’t know what they were signing for. The daily life of braceros was structured to work a six to seven day week.
Each bracero had their different experiences depending on the tates they were sent, it mainly consisted of either agriculture or railroad duties. Some workers faced many difficulties while working in the United States after the Public Law 78 was established. Employers were paid inadequate wages, had horrible standards of living conditions and were mistreated. Many faced racism, in which some cases were physically or verbally abused by local supervisors. Restaurants had signs that prohibited the entrance of Mexicans, and if they entered they force to eat in the back of the kitchen.
Segregation was very noticeable during this time, Mexicans were treated as African Americans and had to sit with them in the back of a theater or drink from the same water fountain. As part of their contract, braceros agreed to have ten percent of their wages withheld to be put in a savings account. The contract stated, “The respective agencies of the Government of the United States shall be responsible for the safekeeping of the sums contributed by the Mexican workers toward the formation of their Rural Savings Fund, until such sums are he account of the Bank of Mexico, S.A..
“I Many braceros were lied to and never received their money not knowing where these funds went to. By the end of WWII braceros had to return back to their homes and live their old lifestyle they had. Braceros were hardworking men who worked in the fields from sunrise to sunset. The Braceros who were sent to work in the agriculture mainly suffered from back injuries from the constant bending. 3Braceros are hardworking man that came to the UnitedStates under a contract to have the right to earn a living wage to support his/her family. These Mexican migrants should be recognized for their outstanding work and their contributions with the United States.
2 Works Cited Marentes, Carlos. “The Official Bracero Agreement. ” Los Braceros 1942-1964, 1997, www. farmworkers. org/benglish. html. Acuna, Rodolfo F. “Racism Legalized.
” The Menudo Report. March 18, 2013. Nadel, Leonard. “Braceros Perform Stoop Labor And Hoe Rows In A Field In California.
” Bracero History Archive. 1956.