Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History



First Reader/Committee Chair

Johnson, Diana


During the late 19th and early 20th century, as the United States implemented stricter immigration laws, there was a gradual shift from Asian migrant labor to Mexican migrant Labor. The Bracero Program, which was established in 1942 at the request of U.S agribusinesses, best exemplified this development in the U.S. Throughout the duration of this guest work program, it demonstrated the discriminatory and exploitative nature of U.S agribusinesses. Yet, few studies have emphasized the thoughts of former braceros. Therefore, this proposed thesis will shed light on a more positive outlook of the Bracero Program where former braceros would persevere through the many challenges that they faced in the U.S. In doing so, they hoped to provide a more sustainable life for themselves and their families either in Mexico or the United States. Additionally, as the Salinas Valley Tragedy of 1963 further demonstrated the abhorrent conditions for braceros, U.S politicians also began to showcase their discontent with the Bracero Program. Thus, this factor played a part in the Bracero Program's inevitable termination. In their final remarks, former braceros continued to express a more positive outlook on their experiences in the Bracero Program as they illustrated how they persevered and successfully made more money to help provide for their families.