On 4/22, I reported on my blog that, between 1942 and 1949, there was a guest worker plan known as the "bracero" program. About 2.5 million Mexican laborers worked in fields or on railroads in the United States during this time. Ten percent of workers' paychecks were withheld for savings and pension funds that were promised to be payed to them once they returned to Mexico (an incentive for migrants to return home). Well, they never received their money.
Mexico's Senate recently approved a $27 million fund for braceros. Some farmworkers who worked in the San Joaquin Valley say this isn't enough. The San Joaquin Valley is home to at least 3,000 ex-braceros who might qualify for reimbursement, said activist Leonel Flores.
"We are in favor of the years the funds will apply for, but we are not in favor of the amount of money," said 69-year-old Bernardo Bretado, a former bracero and local member of the Union of Ex-Braceros. "It's very little money. There's more than 100,000 ex-braceros [or heirs in the United States and Mexico]."
I agree. Mexico needs to fork over some more cash.
Proposal dissatisfies braceros
Some say Mexico is offering too little compensation.
by Vanessa Colón / The Fresno Bee - Saturday, April 30, 2005