This chapter discusses the decision to import workers during the Second World War and how it shaped the course of farm labor history over the next fifty years. In the aftermath of the war, Puerto Rican farmworkers replaced Italians in New Jersey and New York. In Florida, Bahamians and Jamaicans monopolized all but a few hundred of the 8,000 to 10,000 cane cutting jobs. In the 1970s, Haitians began arriving, making Belle Glade, for a time, the second largest Haitian community in the United States. But in the 1980s, the Haitians found themselves passed over in favor of Mexicans and Central Americans, who remain the farmworkers of choice in the East. Thus a story that began with the transformation of East Coast agriculture by western grain ends with an influx of western labor.
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