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Mexican Labor and World War II: The Bracero Program

Primary Source Set

Beginning in World War II, the Bracero Program brought Mexican laborers to the United States to remedy wartime production shortages. The program (which derived its name from the Spanish word for a manual laborer, “bracero”) continued until 1964, with braceros working mainly in agricultural areas in the Southwest and on the West Coast. Braceros worked long hours for low wages in difficult jobs that separated them from their families. In the United States, they also faced discrimination and became the subject of national labor debates. Get new insight into the Bracero Program and its workers through this collection of era photographs, documents, and oral history interviews.

Additional resources for research

  1. Bracero History Archive, The Center for History and New Media, George Mason University.

  2. Braceros: History, Compensation, University of California, Davis.

  3. The Bracero Program, 1942-1964, University of Northern Colorado.

  4. The Bracero Program, C-SPAN.

  5. Uneasy Neighbors: A Brief History of Mexican-U.S. Migration, Harvard Magazine.

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