Bracero Movement Essay

1330 Words May 20th, 2012 6 Pages
Steinaker 1
Sydney Steinaker
Professor
Chicano Studies
24 January 2012
Bracero Movement The United States always has a way of blaming Chicano people for the rising unemployment rates, when in reality the United States is the one who wanted Chicano people to work. After World War II the United States needed more manual labor which then provoked the emergence of countless Mexicans into the U.S.. They were known as Braceros, which were Mexican laborers that were allowed into the United States for a limited period of time as a seasonal agricultural worker. The Bracero movement was well related to the California Gold Rush because numerous Mexicans headed North across the American border because they thought they would gain mass fortunes
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Mexican activists and Mexican Americans were forced to reevaluate their identities, their relationship with the Braceros, and the positions they held due to endless threats. The Braceros suffered from harassment and oppression from extremist groups and racist authorities. During this time over 4.3 million Mexicans had crossed the border for agricultural labor from the period of 1942 to 1964. The issue with this was that some of the Braceros would “quit” and leave the fields to head into major U.S. cities for better jobs. The Catholic Church as well began to disapprove of this movement saying that it was breaking family bonds and exposing Mexicans to protestant churches, gambling, prostitution and drinking. There were many downfalls to the Bracero movement, but the United States knew they needed workers. Since the United States began to become reliant on Mexican workers, they needed more tactics to lure in more workers. The Bracero program mandated a certain level of wages, housing, food and medical care for the workers. At one point, the farm owners began to hire illegal immigrants that didn’t have papers or contracts to work under. The advantages of hiring illegal immigrants were that they were willing to work for lower wages, without support, health coverage or in many cases legal means to address abuses by
Steinaker/Miller 3 the employers for fear of deportation. Working illegally in the United States

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