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From South Texas To the NationThe Exploitation of Mexican Labor in the Twentieth Century$
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John Weber

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625232

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625232.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

The Bracero Program and the Nationalization of South Texas Labor Relations

The Bracero Program and the Nationalization of South Texas Labor Relations

(p.187) Chapter Seven The Bracero Program and the Nationalization of South Texas Labor Relations
From South Texas To the Nation

John Weber

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter argues that the Bracero Program, begun as an international agreement between the US and Mexico to fill agricultural labor shortages during World War II, served as a way for agricultural interests in the rest of the nation to recreate the labor supply conditions enjoyed by the growers of South Texas. As a result, the Bracero Program mobilized large numbers of foreign workers, stripped of their basic rights of choice and mobility, for use all over the country. The Bracero Program ended in 1964, but its importance and effects have lasted much longer. This chapter also deals with the overwhelming importance of Texas as both a model and an obstacle to the smooth running of the system throughout its existence. From its inauguration in 1942 as a temporary wartime emergency measure until its quiet demise in 1964, the Bracero Program took the spirit of the deeply unequal labor relations of South Texas and spread them to the rest of the nation as a supposedly rational, necessary response to the exigencies of the agricultural labor market.

Keywords:   Bracero Program, Guest workers, Caucasian Race Resolution, Good Neighbor Commission, Felix Longoria, Doctor Hector Garcia, President’s Commission on Migratory Labor, “Drying out”, Public Law 78, Operation Wetback

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