Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

1943 – Bracero Program Brings 5,000,000 Mexican Temporary Laborers to Work in US Farms and Railroads in a 22-Year Period

“World War II had drained enough US manpower to force Washington to look
abroad for recruits to support a wartime economy. Bilateral talks
resulted in a special program that allowed migrant laborers to work on
US farms and railroads. Regulated by both governments, this agreement
ended the system of private labor recruitment and introduced a new phase
of negotiation. After having tried to dissuade Mexicans from migrating
for half a century, the US government now began to organize and channel
huge numbers of migrant workers—braceros—across its border. This phase,
which lasted 22 years, molded a unique type of migrant: young, male
temporary laborers from rural areas who went to live in the US and work
in agriculture. Through tense, arduous annual negotiations, the
‘Bracero’ program established a ‘binational collective labor agreement’
that mobilized more than five million temporary workers.”