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The Fruits of Their LaborAtlantic Coast Farmworkers and the Making of Migrant Poverty, 1870-1945$
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Cindy Hahamovitch

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780807846391

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899922_hahamovitch

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Wards of the Mate: Farmworker Unionism and the New Deal

Wards of the Mate: Farmworker Unionism and the New Deal

(p.138) 6 Wards of the Mate: Farmworker Unionism and the New Deal
The Fruits of Their Labor

Cindy Hahamovitch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes migrant farmworkers as “stateless”; they paid no taxes and did not vote. If they did not leave promptly when they were no longer needed, they became more a hindrance than a help. Thus state and local authorities kept migrant workers moving, and as long as they kept moving, no state or municipality could be made to accept responsibility for them. Farmworkers were, however, still citizens of the nation. If any government had an interest in their health, housing, and working conditions, it was the federal government, or so state officials argued on a fairly regular basis. Still, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration was uncharacteristically slow to form a policy toward migrant farmworkers. Indeed, farmworkers were excluded from all labor and relief measures passed during the legislative whirlwind of the New Deal's first hundred days.

Keywords:   migrant farmworkers, federal government, state officials, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, New Deal

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