January 7, 2016
one years ago, I was still working for the local daily and
the state put an end to the Bracero program which allowed
Mexican laborers to come into the United States, work and
then take their earnings home.
They were happy and the farmers were happy.
The unions decided that those people were taking jobs away
from union members. Not so, the union members would never
work in the fields picking tomatoes. It was always beneath
Well it was then that the Mexicans started sneaking across
the border to escape poverty and unemployment in their own
country. After all, they had relatives here, and the jobs
were here which needed someone to work. California would
have come to a standstill without them.
Now fast forward 50 years, and we wonder why we have an
immigrant problem. Do you think that the Mexicans wanted
to live here? No, they wanted to live with their families
in Mexico, but the cost of crossing the border was so much
they couldn’t afford to go back and forth each year.
Many decided not to go back and planted their roots here.
Now the one-way migration is seen to be a problem, and some
of it is, but who caused it? The Mexican workers were very
happy to do work in the fields even though they were paid
half what other people would work for.
Now we say to them, “This is not your country and
I agree that you can’t have everyone crossing the
border or there would be no controls. However, if they had
let the Bracero program continue, there would not have been
a massive influx of Mexicans into the United States.
They would have lived happily in their own country. The
money they had earned would have gone to pay for homes and
ranches in which they planned to retire.
I know this because back 50 years ago I lived with the Braceros
in the labor camp so I could write their story. It’s
true the conditions in the fields and the housing camps
were often poor, but I have not changed my mind in all the
If we had just left the Bracero program alone, we would
have had a fraction of the number of undocumented immigrants
we have today.
The Mexicans would have been happy in their own nation with
their compatriots, and Trump would have had nothing to squawk
That’s the way I see it.