Bracero Agreement

Under this program, Mexican workers, many of whom were farmers, were allowed to enter the United States temporarily. Between 1942 and 1964, the year the program ended, an estimated 4.6 million Mexican nationals arrived in the United States as Braceros. The 1943 strike in Dayton, Washington, was unique in the unity it showed between Mexican Braceros and Japanese-American workers. Not only did labour shortages during the war result in the use of tens of thousands of Mexican Braceros on farms in the Northwest, but the U.S. government also allowed tens of thousands of Americans, who were placed against their will in internment camps during World War II, to leave the camps to work on farms in the northwest. [32] The strike broke out at the end of July at the Blue Mountain Cannery. After the appearance of a white woman who said she had been assaulted, and described her attacker as a `sighted Mexican`… The prosecutor`s and sheriff`s office imposed a mandatory „restriction order” on the Mexican and Japanese camp. [33] No investigation was conducted, nor were Japanese or Mexican workers asked about what happened. During a debate in 1963 on prorogation, the House of Representatives refused to extend the program. However, the Senate approved an extension requiring American workers to receive the same non-wage benefits as braceros. Parliament responded with a final one-year extension of the programme without non-salary benefits, and the Bracero programme was kept alive in 1964.

[9] The Catholic Church in Mexico opposed the Bracero program and opposed the separation of husbands and wives and the resulting disruption of family life; alleged exposure of migrants to vices such as prostitution, alcohol and gambling in the United States; and the exposure of migrants to Protestant missionaries during his stay in America. [51] [52] From 1953, Catholic priests were assigned to certain bracerro communities,[51] and the Catholic Church engaged in other efforts specifically focused on Braceros. [52] The Bracero program grew out of a series of bilateral agreements between Mexico and the United States that allowed millions of Mexican men to travel to the United States to work in the short term, including agricultural employment contracts. From 1942 to 1964, 4.6 million contracts were signed, many of them returning several times with different contracts, making it the largest contract work program in the United States. A study of the images, stories, documents and artifacts of the Bracero program contributes to our understanding of the lives of migrant workers in Mexico and the United States, as well as our knowledge of immigration, citizenship, nationalism, agriculture, labour practices, race relations, sex, sexuality, family, visual culture and the Cold War era.