Braceros?

  1. A new Bracero Program for Mexican workers? You would have thought that Bush would have had the decency to have finished up paying the workers from the previous US/ Mexican Bracero program before proposing a new one? What character our president has! He seems to have a genius for international PR work.
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    Migrant Workers Seek Lost Funds
    Thu Feb 12

    By MORGAN LEE, Associated Press Writer

    MEXICO CITY - Mexicans who worked in the United States during and after World War II intensified efforts to collect unpaid retirement funds, meeting Thursday with Mexico's interior secretary about millions of dollars that disappeared and never was paid out.

    Claims by the workers have gained momentum since President Bush proposed similar savings accounts as part of a temporary work program for new migrants. The money for the old program disappeared somewhere between U.S. and Mexican banks.

    Mexican migrants, known as "braceros," toiled in the United States between 1942 and the mid-1960s under a guest worker program that required a portion of their earnings be deducted for retirement in Mexico. Like Bush's plan, the money was collectible only in Mexico, an incentive for migrants to return home. But the workers never received the money, and demands for the deferred wages have been under investigation for decades. The former migrant workers warn the new migrants won't get their money either.

    About 200 former migrant workers gathered Thursday, waiting to show Mexican officials old U.S. Justice Department identifications and yellowed work contracts. They said they want a meeting with President Vicente Fox, and concrete promises they will be paid.

    "We aren't asking for charity," said Federico Alvarado, who spent the late 1950s and early 1960s picking crops in Texas, Arkansas, California and Michigan. "This money belongs to us."

    Later Thursday, about 15 representatives met with Interior Secretary Santiago Creel, who promised: "We aren't going to rest until we find a solution."

    Jose Cristobal Fernandez, coordinator of the National Braceros Association, says the Bush savings plan has prompted renewed demands for payments from the old plan.

    "If you're going to open a new account today, well then settle the old one first-it's real simple," said Fernandez, whose group includes former temporary workers in Mexico and the United States.

    Last Saturday, hundreds of former migrant workers pushed past security guards at Fox's ranch, 185 miles northwest of Mexico City, and spent about four hours protesting on the property. Migrant worker leader Ventura Gutierrez said the migrants plan to return to Fox's ranch on Saturday and apologize to the president's family.

    "We've had to resort to radical action for the government to take this subject seriously," said Rosa Martha Zarate, who coordinates a chapter of the National Braceros Association in California. "We hope that regardless of the consequences that the government will pay the braceros ... and pay the consequences for a theft that has been set aside by several administrations. Unfortunately, now it's up the President Fox."
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    About 200 former migrant workers gathered Thursday, waiting to show Mexican officials old U.S. Justice Department identifications and yellowed work contracts. They said they want a meeting with President Vicente Fox, and concrete promises they will be paid.

    "We aren't asking for charity," said Federico Alvarado, who spent the late 1950s and early 1960s picking crops in Texas, Arkansas, California and Michigan. "This money belongs to us."
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Some of my family were "Okie" farmworkers. I live in a neighborhood where my great uncle worked a CCC job after FDR started the 'New Deal'. The homes were built in the 1930s by and for former residents of "Hooverill" camps and migrant worker camps. This has been a tolerant integrated neighborhood ever since. Doctors, lawyers, and minimum wage workers stay here. We are relative newcomers of only 40 years.

    PASTURES OF PLENTY
    (Woody Guthrie)

    It's a mighty hard row that my poor hands have hoed
    My poor feet have traveled a hot dusty road
    Out of your Dust Bowl and Westward we rolled
    And your deserts were hot and your mountains were cold

    I worked in your orchards of peaches and prunes
    I slept on the ground in the light of the moon
    On the edge of the city you'll see us and then
    We come with the dust and we go with the wind

    California, Arizona, I harvest your crops
    Well its North up to Oregon to gather your hops
    Dig the beets from your ground, cut the grapes from your vine
    To set on your table your light sparkling wine

    Green pastures of plenty from dry desert ground
    From the Grand Coulee Dam where the waters run down
    Every state in the Union us migrants have been
    We'll work in this fight and we'll fight till we win

    It's always we rambled, that river and I
    All along your green valley, I will work till I die
    My land I'll defend with my life if need be
    Cause my pastures of plenty must always be free

    Copyright Ludlow Music, Inc.
    @America @patriotic @work
    recorded on Woody's Greatest Songs
    filename[ PASTPLEN
    SOF
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I know Americans will do this work. It is much better than starving or being on welfare. The attorney general of my state worked in the fields. George Takai, actor, picked strawberries in the summers while in high school and college to help pay for his USC education. His family was internned in labor camps during WWI!. We knew a man who had just opened a nursery & floral shop when his family was taken to a camp. Tney love this country and laugh that they lost everything, all the investment in a business Board of Equalization fees etcetera. He was born in the USA.

    DEPORTEES
    (Woody Guthrie)

    The crops are all in and the peaches are rotting
    The oranges are filed in their creosote dumps
    They're flying 'em back to the Mexico border
    To take all their money to wade back again

    Goodbye to my Juan, farewell Roselita
    Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria
    You won't have a name when you ride the big airplane
    All they will call you will be deportees

    My father's own father, he waded that river
    They took all the money he made in his life
    It's six hundred miles to the Mexico border
    And they chased them like rustlers, like outlaws, like thieves

    The skyplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon
    The great ball of fire it shook all our hills
    Who are these dear friends who are falling like dry leaves?
    Radio said, "They are just deportees"

    Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
    Is this the best way we can raise our good crops?
    To fall like dry leaves and rot on out topsoil
    And be known by no names except "deportees"

    Copyright Ludlow Music, Inc.
    recorded on Judy Collins/3 and Guthrie Greatest
    @death @work
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    http://www.boycottassi.com/index.htm
    Please be aware that Assi market and its owner, Daniel Rhee, have taken away the livelihood of 60 workers - 50 Latinos and about 10 Koreans. We were notified that as of Thursday, August 1st 2002, we were suspended indefinitely from our jobs.

    These workers are still 'suspended' for 1 1/2 years! This was after they contacted the Korean immigrant workers group, KIWA for information of how to proceed because the markets were selling outdated meat. Beef and pork were re ground. Chickens were frozen and expiration dates changed.

    Salmonella in school lunch strawberries was suspected to be related to the lack of portable toilets and hand washing facilities for the farm workers.
    People afraid of deportation are intimidated.

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