February 12, 2012
The Bracero Program
The Bracero Program was a system put in place from 1942 to 1964 to recruit Mexican farm laborers during World War II to supplement a temporary work force in the United States. In hopes of making enough money to buy land and create more lucrative futures, many Mexican workers left their families to work in the Bracero Program; unfortunately the U.S. was the only country that truly benefited from the work of the Braceros and continues to strive from the work of these millions of guest workers. The U.S. employers took advantage of the Braceros from the selection process through their entire working experience. This program was extremely costly for the Braceros, and they as well as their families went into large amount of debt. It did not help the economy of Mexico, nor did it help the people. Despite the best efforts of the Mexican workers, they have yet to reach their goals of a better life. After waiting about 3 months in Empalme to be sent to the U.S., the Mexican workers had to go through a medical exam as well as an exercise exam. They had to prove that they were hard workers. Once they passed these tests they were put onto cattle cars so that they could be taken for fumigation, have their blood drawn, and were even x-rayed. This was all to assure that the American employers “got their monies worth,” despite the fact that they weren’t really paying their workers fair wages anyway. During the selection process if the potential workers had hands that weren’t calloused enough in the employers opinion, or if they appeared to be too intelligent and had nice clothes they were sent back to Mexico. The employers of the Braceros took advantage of them in more ways than one. Aside from paying the workers low wages; employers made money off of the Braceros by also owning stores where men could buy food, clothing, and other items they may have needed. The living quarters the employees had to live in...
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