The Bracero Program (named for the Spanish term bracero, meaning "manual laborer" or "one who works using his arms") was a series of laws and diplomatic agreements, initiated on August 4, 1942, when the United States signed the Mexican Farm Labor Agreement with Mexico. The agreement guaranteed basic human rights (sanitation, adequate shelter and food) and a minimum wage of 30 cents an hour; it also enabled the importation of temporary contract laborers from Guam to the United States as a momentary war-related clause to supply workers during the early phases of World War II. The agreement was extended with the Migrant Labor Agreement of 1951, which with the PL 78, set the official parameters for the Bracero Program until its termination in 1964.
The Bracero Program was named for the Spanish term meaning manual laborer. It was a series of agreements established on August 4, 1942, when the U.S. signed the Mexican Farm Labor Agreement with Mexico. It operated as a joint program under the State Department, the Department of Labor, and the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) in the Department of Justice. Under this pact, the laborers were promised basic human rights, such as adequate shelter, food and sanitation, as well as a minimum wage pay of 30 cents an hour. The agreement also stated that braceros would not be subject to discrimination such as exclusion from "white" areas. This program was intended to fill the labor shortage in agriculture. The program lasted 22 years and offered employment contracts to 5 million braceros in 24 U.S. states—becoming the largest foreign worker program in U.S. history.
From 1942 to 1947, only a relatively small number of braceros were admitted, accounting for less than 10 percent of U.S hired workers. Yet both U.S and Mexican employers became heavily dependent on braceros for willing workers; bribery was a common way to get a contract during this time. Consequently, several years of short-term agreement led to an increase in undocumented immigration and a growing preference for operating outside of the parameters set by the program. Moreover, Truman's Commission on Migratory Labor in 1951 disclosed that the presence of Mexican workers depressed the income of American farmers, even as the U.S Department of State urged a new bracero program to counter the popularity of communism in Mexico. Furthermore, it was seen as a way for Mexico to be involved in the Allied armed forces. The first braceros were admitted on September 27, 1942, for the sugar-beet harvest season. From 1948 to 1964, the US imported on average 200,000 braceros per year.
1951 negotiations to termination
American growers longed for a system that would admit Mexican workers and guarantee them an opportunity to grow and harvest their crops, and place them on the American market. Thus, during negotiations in 1951 over a new bracero program, Mexico sought to have the United States impose sanctions on American employers of undocumented workers.
President Truman signed Public Law 78 (which did not include employer sanctions) in July 1951. Soon after it was signed, U.S. negotiators met with Mexican officials to prepare a new bilateral agreement. This agreement made it so that the U.S. government were the guarantors of the contract, not U.S. employers. The braceros could not be used as replacement workers for U.S. workers on strike; however, the braceros were not allowed to go on strike or renegotiate wages. The agreement set forth that all negotiations would be between the two governments.
A year later, Congress approved a bill that made the harboring of an illegal immigrant a felony. However the Texas Proviso stated that employing unauthorized workers would not constitute as “harboring or concealing” them. This also led to the establishment of the H2 program, which enabled laborers to enter the U.S for temporary work. There were a number of hearings about the U.S-Mexico migration, which overheard complaints about Public Law 78 and how it did not adequately provide them with a reliable supply of workers. Simultaneously, unions complained that the braceros’ presence was harmful to U.S workers. The outcome of this meeting, was that the U.S ultimately got to decide how the workers would enter the country: by way of reception centers set up in various Mexican states and at the U.S border. At these reception centers, they had to pass a series of examinations at the reception centers. The first step in this process required that the workers pass a local level selection before moving onto a regional migratory station where the laborers had to pass a number of physical examinations; lastly, at the U.S reception centers, workers were inspected by health departments, sprayed with DDT and then were sent to contractors that were looking for workers.
Now, to address the overwhelming amount of undocumented migrants in the U.S, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) launched Operation Wetback in June 1954, as a way to repatriate illegal laborers back to Mexico. The illegal workers who came over to the states at the initial start of the program were not the only ones affected by this operation, there were also massive groups of workers who felt the need to extend their stay in the U.S well after their labor contracts were terminated. In the first year, over a million Mexicans were sent back to Mexico; 3.8 million were repatriated when the operation was all set and done. The criticisms of unions and churches made their way to the U.S Department of Labor, as they lamented that the braceros were negatively affecting the U.S farm workers in the 1950s. The Department of Labor acted upon these criticisms and began closing numerous Bracero camps in 1957–1958, they also imposed new minimum wage standards and in 1959 they demanded that American workers recruited through the Employment Service be entitled to the same wages and benefits as the Braceros. The Department of Labor continued to try to get more pro-worker regulations passed, however the only one that was written into law was the one guaranteeing U.S workers the same benefits as the Braceros, which was signed in 1961 by President Kennedy as an extension of Public Law 78. After signing, JFK released this message “I am aware ... of the serious impact in Mexico if many thousands of workers employed in this country were summarily deprived of this much-needed employment.” Thereupon, Bracero employment plummeted; going from 437,000 workers in 1959 to 186,000 in ’63.
During a 1963 debate over extension, the House of Representatives rejected an extension of the program. However the Senate approved an extension that required U.S. workers to receive the same non-wage benefits as braceros. The House responded with a final one-year extension of the program without the non-wage benefits, and the bracero program saw its demise in 1964.
The workers who participated in the bracero program have generated significant local and international struggles challenging the U.S. government and Mexican government to identify and return 10 percent mandatory deductions taken from their pay, from 1942 to 1948, for savings accounts that they were legally guaranteed to receive upon their return to Mexico at the conclusion of their contracts. Many field working braceros never received their savings, but most railroad working braceros did. Lawsuits presented in federal courts in California, in the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade), highlighted the substandard conditions and documented the ultimate destiny of the savings accounts deductions, but the suit was thrown out because the Mexican banks in question never operated in the United States. Today, it is stipulated that ex-braceros can receive up to $3,500.00 as compensation for the 10% only by supplying check stubs or contracts proving they were part of the program during 1942 to 1948. It is estimated that, with interest accumulated, $500 million is owed to ex-braceros, who continue to fight to receive the money owed to them.
- January–February (exact dates aren’t noted) 1943: In Burlington, Washington, braceros strike because farmers were paying higher wages to Anglos than to the braceros doing similar work.
- 1943: In Medford, Oregon, one of the first notable strikes was by a group of Braceros that staged a work stoppage to protest their pay based on per box versus per hour. The growers agreed to pay them 75 cents an hour versus the 8 or 10 cents per box
- May 1944: Braceros in Preston, Idaho, struck over wages.
- July and September 1944: Braceros near Rupert and Wilder, Idaho, strike over wages.
- October 1944: Braceros in Sugar City and Lincoln, Idaho refused to harvest beets after earning higher wages picking potatoes.
- May–June 1945: Bracero asparagus cutters in Walla Walla, Washington, struck for twelve days complaining they grossed only between $4.16 and $8.33 in that time period.
- June 1945: Braceros from Caldwell-Boise sugar beet farms struck when hourly wages were .20 cents less than the established rate set by the County Extension Service. They won a wage increase.
- June 1945: In Twin Falls, Idaho, 285 Braceros went on strike against the Amalgamated Sugar Company for two days which resulted in them effectively receiving a 50 cent raise which put them 20 cents over the prevailing wage of the contracted labor.
- June 1945: Three weeks later braceros at Emmett struck for higher wages.
- July 1945: In Idaho Falls, 170 braceros organized a sit-down strike that lasted nine days after fifty cherry pickers refused to work at the prevailing rate.
- October 1945: In Klamath Falls, Oregon, braceros and transient workers from California refuse to pick potatoes due to insufficient wages.
- A majority of Oregon’s Mexican labor camps were affected by “labor unrest and stoppages” in 1945.
- November 1946: In Wenatchee, Washington, 100 braceros refuse to be shipped to Idaho to harvest beets and demand a train back to Mexico.
The number of strikes in the Pacific Northwest is much longer than this list. Two strikes in particular should be highlighted for their character and scope: the Japanese-Mexican strike of 1943 in Dayton, Washington and the June 1946 strike of 1000 plus braceros that refused to harvest lettuce and peas in Idaho.
Strike of 1943
The 1943 strike in Dayton, Washington, is unique in the unity it showed between Mexican braceros and Japanese-American workers. The wartime labor shortage not only led to tens of thousands of Mexican braceros being used on Northwest farms, it also saw the U.S. government allow some ten thousand Japanese Americans, who were placed against their will in internment camps during World War II, to leave the camps in order to work on farms in the Northwest. The strike at Blue Mountain Cannery erupted in late July. After "a white female came forward stating that she had been assaulted and described her assailant as 'looking Mexican' … the prosecutor’s and sheriff’s office imposed a mandatory 'restriction order' on both the Mexican and Japanese camps." No investigation took place nor were any Japanese or Mexican workers asked their opinions on what happened.
The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported the restriction order read:
Males of Japanese and or Mexican extraction or parentage are restricted to that area of Main Street of Dayton, lying between Front Street and the easterly end of Main Street. The aforesaid males of Japanese and or Mexican extraction are expressly forbidden to enter at any time any portion of the residential district of said city under penalty of law.
The workers' response came in the form of a strike against this perceived injustice. Some 170 Mexicans and 230 Japanese struck. After multiple meetings including some combination of government officials, Cannery officials, the county sheriff, the Mayor of Dayton and representatives of the workers, the restriction order was voided. Those in power actually showed little concern over the alleged assault. Their real concern was ensuring the workers got back into the fields. Threats of sending in army soldiers to force them back to work were made. Two days later the strike ended. Many of the Japanese and Mexican workers had threatened to return to their original homes, but most stayed there to help harvest an excellent pea crop.
Reasons for discontent amongst braceros in the U.S.
First, like braceros in other parts of the U.S., those in the Northwest came to the U.S. looking for employment with the goal of improving their lives. Yet, the power dynamic all braceros encountered offered little space or control by them over their living environment or working conditions. As Gamboa points out, farmers controlled the pay (and kept it very low), hours of work and even transportation to and from work. Transportation and living expenses from the place of origin to destination, and return, as well as expenses incurred in the fulfillment of any requirements of a migratory nature should have been met by the employer. Mexican workers will be furnished without cost to them with hygienic lodgings and the medical and sanitary services enjoyed without cost to them will be identical with those furnished to the other agricultural workers in regions where they may lend their services. These were the words of agreements that all Bracero employers had to come to and sad enough, they couldn't stick with what they agreed on. Braceros had no say on any committees, agencies or boards that existed ostensibly to help establish fair working conditions for them. The lack of quality food angered braceros all over the U.S. According to the War Food Administrator, "Securing able cooks who were Mexicans or who had had experience in Mexican cooking was a problem that was never completely solved." John Willard Carrigan, who was an authority on this subject after visiting multiple camps in California and Colorado in 1943 and 1944, commented, "Food preparation has not been adapted to the workers' habits sufficiently to eliminate vigorous criticisms. The men seem to agree on the following points: 1.) the quantity of food is sufficient, 2.) evening meals are plentiful, 3.) breakfast often is served earlier than warranted, 4.) bag lunches are universally disliked....In some camps efforts have been made to vary the diet more in accord with Mexican taste. The cold sandwich lunch with a piece of fruit, however, persists almost everywhere as the principal cause of discontent." Finally, not only was the pay extremely low, but braceros often weren't paid on a timely basis. A letter from Howard A. Preston describes payroll issues that many braceros faced, "The difficulty lay chiefly in the customary method of computing earnings on a piecework basis after a job was completed. This meant that full payment was delayed for long after the end of regular pay periods. It was also charged that time actually worked was not entered on the daily time slips and that payment was sometimes less than 30 cents per hour. April 9, 1943, the Mexican Labor Agreement is sanctioned by Congress though Public Law 45 which led to the agreement of a guaranteed a minimum wage of 30 cents per hour and “humane treatment” for workers involved in the program. "
Reasons for bracero strikes in the Northwest
One key difference between the Northwest and braceros in the Southwest or other parts of the U.S. involved the lack of Mexican government labor inspectors. According to Galarza, “In 1943, ten Mexican labor inspectors were assigned to ensure contract compliance throughout the United States; most were assigned to the Southwest and two were responsible for the northwestern area.” The lack of inspectors made the policing of pay and working conditions in the Northwest extremely difficult. The farmers set up powerful collective bodies like the Associated Farmers Incorporated of Washington with a united goal of keeping pay down and any union agitators or communists out of the fields. The Associated Farmers used various types of law enforcement officials to keep “order” including privatized law enforcement officers, the state highway patrol and even the National Guard. Another difference is the proximity, or not, to the Mexican border. In the Southwest, employers could easily threaten braceros with deportation knowing the ease with which new braceros could replace them. However, in the Northwest due to the much farther distance and cost associated with travel made threats of deportation harder to follow through with.Braceros in the Northwest could not easily skip out on their contracts due to the lack of a prominent Mexican-American community which would allow for them to blend in and not have to return to Mexico as so many of their counterparts in the Southwest chose to do and also the lack of proximity to the border. Knowing this difficulty, the Mexican consulate in Salt Lake City, and later the one in Portland, Oregon, encouraged workers to protest their conditions and advocated on their behalf much more than the Mexican consulates did for braceros in the Southwest. Combine all these reasons together and it created a climate where braceros in the Northwest felt they had no other choice, but to strike in order for their voices to be heard.
Braceros met the challenges of discrimination and exploitation by finding various ways in which they could resist and attempt to improve their living conditions and wages in the Pacific Northwest work camps. Over two dozen strikes were held in the first two years of the program. One common method used to increase their wages was by “loading sacks” which consisted of braceros loading their harvest bags with rock in order to make their harvest heavier and therefore be paid more for the sack. Also Braceros learned that timing was everything. Strikes were more successful when combined with work stoppages, cold weather, and a pressing harvest period. The notable strikes throughout the Northwest proved that employers would rather negotiate with Braceros than to deport them, employers had little time to waste as their crops needed to be harvested and the difficulty and expense associated with the Bracero program forced them to negotiate with Braceros for fair wages and better living conditions. Braceros were also discriminated and segregated in the labor camps. Some growers went to the extent of building three labor camps, one for whites, one for blacks, and the one for Mexicans. The living conditions were horrible, unsanitary, and poor. One example of this is in 1943 Grants Pass, Oregon 500 braceros were food poisoned which was one of the most severe cases of food poisoning reported in the Northwest. 300 of them required hospitalization. This detrition of the quality and quantity of food persisted into 1945 until the Mexican government intervened. Lack of food, poor living conditions, discrimination, and exploitation led Braceros to become active in strikes and to successfully negotiate their terms.
Even though the U.S. had made use of migrant Mexican labor in its agricultural sector since the early 20th century, such labor tended to be both migratory and seasonal, with many workers returning to Mexico in the winter. The situation changed with the involvement of the United States in World War II, which caused a massive labor shortage in all sectors of the economy with the transfer of much of the nation's active labor force into the various armed services. The extreme labor shortage forced the United States into changing its immigration policy, resulting in development of the bracero program in conjunction with Mexico.
The bracero program was a guest-worker program that ran between the years of 1942 and 1964. Over those 22 years, the Mexican Farm Labor Program, informally known as the "bracero program", sponsored some 4.5 million border crossings of guest workers from Mexico (some among these representing repeat visits by returned braceros). Many braceros succeeded in securing green cards and legal residency, while others (known as "quits") simply left the fields and headed for work in the cities. As of 2014 millions of Mexican Americans trace their families' roots in the US to their fathers' or grandfathers' arrival as braceros.
Recent scholarship highlights that the program generated controversy in Mexico from the outset. Mexican employers and local officials feared labor shortages, especially in the states of west-central Mexico that traditionally sent the majority of migrants north (Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Zacatecas). The Catholic Church warned that emigration would break families apart and expose braceros to Protestant missionaries and to labor camps where drinking, gambling, and prostitution flourished. Others deplored the negative image that the braceros' departure produced for the Mexican nation. The political opposition even used the exodus of braceros as evidence of the failure of government policies, especially the agrarian reform program implemented by the post-revolutionary government in the 1930s. On the other hand, historians like Michael Snodgrass and Deborah Cohen demonstrate why the program proved popular among so many migrants, for whom seasonal work in the US offered great opportunities, despite the poor conditions they often faced in the fields and housing camps. They saved money, purchased new tools or used trucks, and returned home with new outlooks and with a greater sense of dignity. Social scientists doing field work in rural Mexico at the time observed these positive economic and cultural effects of bracero migration. The bracero program looked different from the perspective of the participants rather than from the perspective of its many critics in the US and Mexico.
U.S. businesses increasingly realized that provisions within the program ensured an increase of costs for the imported labor. The program mandated a certain level of wages, housing, food and medical care for the workers (all payable by the employers) that kept the standard of living above what many had in Mexico. This not only enabled many to send funds home to their families but also had the unintended effect of encouraging illegal immigration after the filling of quotas for official workers in the U.S.
These new illegal workers could not be employed as part of the program, leaving them vulnerable to working for lower wages and without the benefits received by workers under the bracero program. This, in turn, had the effect of eroding the U.S. agricultural sector's support for the program in favor of hiring illegal immigrants to reduce costs. The advantages of hiring illegal workers included such workers' willingness to work for lower wages, without support, health coverage or in many cases legal means to address abuses by the employers for fear of deportation. Nevertheless, conditions for the poor and unemployed in Mexico were such that illegal employment motivated many to work in the United States illegally.
In 1956 the publication of the book Stranger in Our Fields by labor organizer Ernesto Galarza drew attention to the conditions experienced by braceros. The book begins with this statement from a worker: "In this camp, we have no names. we are called only by numbers." The book concluded that workers were lied to, cheated and "shamefully neglected". The U.S. Department of Labor officer in charge of the program, Lee G. Williams, described the program as a system of "legalized slavery".
Labor unions that tried to organize agricultural workers after World War II targeted the bracero program as a key impediment to improving the wages of domestic farm workers. These unions included the National Farm Laborers Union (NFLU), later called the National Agricultural Workers Union (NAWU), headed by Ernesto Galarza, and the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), AFL-CIO. During his tenure with the Community Service Organization, César Chávez received a grant from the AWOC to organize in Oxnard, California, which culminated in a protest of domestic U.S. agricultural workers of the U.S. Department of Labor's administration of the program. In January 1961, in an effort to publicize the effects of bracero labor on labor standards, the AWOC led a strike of lettuce workers at 18 farms in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural region on the California-Mexico border and a major destination for braceros.
The end of the bracero program in 1964 was followed by the rise to prominence of the United Farm Workers and the subsequent transformation of American migrant labor under the leadership of César Chávez and Gilbert Padilla. Dolores Huerta was also a leader and early organizer of the United Farm Workers. According to Manuel Garcia y Griego, a political scientist and author of The Importation of Mexican Contract Laborers to the United States 1942–1964, the Contract-Labor Program "left an important legacy for the economies, migration patterns, and politics of the United States and Mexico". Griego's article discusses the bargaining position of both countries, arguing that the Mexican government lost all real bargaining-power after 1950.
In popular culture
- Woody Guthrie's poem "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)", set to music by Martin Hoffman, commemorates the deaths of 28 braceros being repatriated to Mexico in January 1948. The song has been recorded by dozens of folk artists.
- Protest singer Phil Ochs's song "Bracero" focuses on the exploitation of the Mexican workers in the program.
- A minor character in the 1948 Mexican film Nosotros los pobres wants to become a bracero.
- The 1949 film Border Incident looks at the issue.
- Famed satirist Tom Lehrer wrote a song about Sen. George Murphy in response to an infamous racist gaffe referring to Mexican labor which included the line "After all, even in Egypt, the Pharaohs / had to import Hebrew Braceros."
Exhibitions and collections
On September 9, 2010 the Smithsonian National Museum of American History opened a bilingual exhibition titled, "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942–1964." Through photographs and audio excerpts from oral histories, this exhibition examined the experiences of bracero workers and their families while providing insight into the history of Mexican Americans and historical context to today's debates on guest worker programs. The exhibition included a collection of photographs taken by photojournalist Leonard Nadel in 1956, as well as documents, objects, and an audio station featuring oral histories collected by the Bracero Oral History Project. The exhibition closed on January 3, 2010. The exhibition was converted to a traveling exhibition in February 2010 and traveled to Arizona, California, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas under the auspices of Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
- Koestler, Fred L. "Bracero Program". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
- Calavita, Kitty (2010). Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the I. N. S. New York: Quid Pro, LLC. p. 1. ISBN 098275048X.
- Ngai, Mae (2004). Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-691-12429-2.
- "The Bracero Program – Rural Migration News | Migration Dialogue". migration.ucdavis.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers". USCIS. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
- Scruggs, Otey M. (1963-08-01). "Texas and the Bracero Program, 1942–1947". Pacific Historical Review. 32 (3): 251–64. doi:10.2307/4492180. JSTOR 4492180.
- average for '43, 45–46 calculated from total of 220,000 braceros contracted '42-47, cited in Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)
- average for '47–48 calculated from total of 74,600 braceros contracted '47–49, cited in Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)
- average calculated from total of 401,845 braceros under the period of negotiated administrative agreements, cited in Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)
- Data 1951–67 cited in Gutiérrez, David Gregory, Between two worlds (1996)
- "Braceros: History, Compensation - Rural Migration News | Migration Dialogue". migration.ucdavis.edu. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
- Northwest Farm News, Feb. 3, 1944. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 80.
- Gonzales-Berry, Erlinda (2012). Mexicanos in Oregon: Their Stories, Their Lives. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. p. 46.
- Narrative, June 1944, Preston, Idaho, Box 52, File: Idaho, GCRG224, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 81.
- Narrative, July 1944, Rupert, Idaho, Box 52, File: Idaho; Narrative, Oct. 1944, Lincoln, Idaho; all in GCRG224, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, pp. 81–82.
- Narrative, Oct. 1944, Sugar City, Idaho, Box 52, File: Idaho; Narrative, Oct. 1944, Lincoln, Idaho; all in GCRG224, NA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 82.
- Visitation Reports, Walter E. Zuger, Walla Walla County, June 12, 1945, EFLR, WSUA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
- Idaho Daily Statesman, June 8, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
- Jimenez Sifuentez, Mario (2016). Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. p. 26.
- Idaho Daily Statesman, June 29, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
- Idaho Daily Statesman, July 11, 14, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 84.
- Daily Statesman, Oct. 5, 1945. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 82.
- Annual Report of State Supervisor of Emergency Farm Labor Program 1945, Extension Service, p. 56, OSUA. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 82.
- Marshall, Maureen E. Wenatchee's Dark Past. Wenatchee, Wash: The Wenatchee World, 2008.
- Jerry Garcia and Gilberto Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, Chapter 3: Japanese and Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest, 1900–1945, pp. 85–128.
- Roger Daniels, Prisoners without Trials: Japanese Americans in World War II (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993), p. 74. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 104.
- College of Washington and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating, Specialist Record of County Visit, Columbia County, Walter E. Zuger, Assistant State Farm Labor Supervisor, July 21–22, 1943. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 112.
- "Cannery Shut Down By Work Halt." Walla Walla Union Bulletin, July 22, 1943. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 113.
- College of Washington and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating, Specialist Record of County Visit, Columbia County, Walter E. Zuger, Assistant State Farm Labor Supervisor, July 21–22, 1943. Cited in Garcia and Garcia, Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, p. 113.
- Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, pp. 74–75.
- Letter, War Food Administrator to Secretary of State, June 15, 1943. Cited in "A History of the Emergency Farm Labor Supply Program 1943–1947", Wayne Rasmussen, p. 229.
- Memorandum transmitted to Brig. Gen. Philip G. Burton by John Willard Carigan, Sept. 23, 1944. Cited in "A History of the Emergency Farm Labor Supply Program 1943–1947", Wayne Rasmussen, p. 230.
- Letter, Howard A. Preston to Chief of Operations, Chicago, Illinois, Sept. 24, 1945. Cited in "A History of the Emergency Farm Labor Supply Program 1943–1947", Wayne Rasmussen, p. 232.
- Ernesto Galarza, “Personal and Confidential Memorandum”. pp. 8–9. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 75.
- Northwest Farm News, Jan. 13, 1938. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 76.
- Idaho Falls Post Register, Sept. 12, 1938; Yakima Daily Republic, Aug. 25, 1933. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 76.
- Mario Jimenez Sifuentez. Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2016) p. 28
- Ernesto Galarza, Merchants of Labor: The Mexican Bracero Story, 1964. Cited in Gamboa, “Mexican Labor and World War II”, p. 77.
- Mario Jimenez Sifuentez. Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2016) p. 25.
- Erasmo Gamboa. Mexican Labor & World War II: Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, 1942–1947. (Seattle: University of Washington, 1990) p. 85.
- Mario Jimenez Sifuentez. Of Forests and Fields. pp. 28–29
- Robert Bauman. “Jim Crow in the Tri-Cities, 1943–1950.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 3 (2005) p. 126.
- Erasmo Gamboa. “Mexican Migration into Washington State: A History, 1940–1950.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol .72, No. 3 (1981): p.125.
- Ferris, Susan and Sandoval, Ricardo (1997). The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement
- Los Angeles Times, 1/23/1961 "Lettuce Farm Strike Part of Deliberate Union Plan"
- Manuel García y Griego, "The Importation of Mexican Contract Laborers to the United States, 1942–1964", in David G. Gutiérrez, ed. Between Two Worlds: Mexican Immigrants in the United States (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources,1996), pp. 45–85
- "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964 / Cosecha Amarga Cosecha Dulce: El programa Bracero 1942-1964". National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Barbara Driscoll De Alvarado, The Tracks North: The Railroad Bracero Program of World War II. Austin, TX: CMAS Books/Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1999.
- Deborah Cohen, Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
- Fred L. Koestler, "Bracero Program," in Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association, 22 February 2010.
- Don Mitchell, They Saved the Crops: Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle Over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2012.
- Ana Elizabeth Rosas, Abrazando el Espíritu: Bracero Families Confront the US-Mexico Border. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014.
- Otey M. Scruggs, "Texas and the Bracero Program, 1942–1947," Pacific Historical Review (1963) 32#3 pp. 251–264 in JSTOR
- Michael Snodgrass, “The Bracero Program, 1942–1964,” in Beyond the Border: The History of Mexican-U.S. Migration, Mark Overmyer-Velásquez, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 79–102.
- Michael Snodgrass, “Patronage and Progress: The bracero program from the Perspective of Mexico,” in Workers Across the Americas: The Transnational Turn in Labor History, Leon Fink, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 245–266.
- The Bracero Project
- Los Braceros: Strong Arms to Aid the USA - Public Television Program
- Bracero History Archive
- Braceros in Oregon Photograph Collection
- Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942–1964 An online exhibition from the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution