The U.S.-Mexico Bracero Program, 1942-1964, was designed originally to be a war-time labor relief measure that brought Mexican laborers to the United States to work in the agricultural and railroad industries. Over the past six years, I have conducted field research in Colorado and California with those who were most directly impacted by the Bracero Program - the formerly contracted Mexican workers. During the summer of 2002, my research was submitted as expert testimony on behalf of Braceros in a class action lawsuit associated with the Bracero savings program. The ten percent deducted from workers' paychecks is, from my research, only the tip of the iceberg as it relates to how Braceros were exploited and systematically cheated out of wages and benefits. The affidavit filed from my research was on behalf of a claim of peonage/indentured servitude. The legal and other redress attempts on behalf of Braceros will be situated within the larger context of reparations (primarily Japanese internment reparations and African American attempts at redress for slavery) to compensate for past injustices.


Symposium: Eighth Annual LatCrit Conference City & The Citizen: Operations of Power, Strategies of Resistance: Section IV: Migration, Land and Labor: Outlooks on Latina/o Reparations