A Little Bit of Texas History – The Bracero Program

4 August 2014

Veni – Laboravi - Mansi

Bracero ID Card
Bracero ID Card

“On this day in 1942, the United States government signed the Mexican Farm Labor Program Agreement with Mexico. Managed by several government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, as a temporary, war-related measure to supply much-needed workers during the early years of World War II, the bracero (Spanish for “arm-man,” or manual laborer) program continued uninterrupted until 1964. The agreement guaranteed a minimum wage of thirty cents an hour and humane treatment of Mexican farmworkers in the United States. During the first five years of the program, Texas farmers chose not to participate in the restrictive accord, opting to hire farmworkers directly from Mexico who entered the United State illegally. The abundant supply of labor brought into the United States legally finally enticed Texans to participate fully in the program. More than 4.5 million entered the United States during the twenty-two years of the program. Most never returned. Mexican agricultural workers, considered an unlimited supply of cheap labor, have been pawns to a host of economic, political, social, and humanitarian interests. Journalists such as Pauline Kibbe documented how poor wages, lack of educational opportunities for the children, malnutrition, poor sanitation, and discrimination have contributed to continued tension between Texas growers and migrant laborers and the federal government. Migrant workers have nonetheless continued to walk to the United States, legally or illegally.” – TSHA Online

The U.S. Department of Labor officer in charge of the program, Lee G. Williams, had described it as a system of “legalized slavery.” – farmworkers.org: The Bracero Program

Americans suspected immigrants bore all manner of diseases. DDT did not control diseases.
Americans suspected immigrants bore all manner of disease. FYI: DDT did not control diseases.

“In 1942, the U.S. Government approached the Mexican Government about their need for migrant labor after being pressured by farm owners.  World War II was getting underway which meant that poor white, black and domestic Latino laborers would either serve in the military or take jobs in better-paying industrialized factories.  The Mexican Government, who worried that they would not have enough laborers to tend to their new projects to modernize their farming, agreed to allow Mexican Nationalists to emigrate.  While the U.S. Government desperately needed migrant laborers to tend to their farms, the Mexican Government saw an opportunity for their country by “linking its participation to membership in a world democratic community by claiming (to its citizens) that the Program would modernize the country and transform it from a ‘backward’ country into a modern nation-state”.  The hope for both countries was that the Bracero Program contract would keep track of and control the number of workers crossing the border.  The Mexican Government agreed to recruit the laborers while the U.S. Government facilitated
employment, wages, working conditions and transportation.  The provisions to the contract for the Mexican workers were that they were given transportation to and from the farms they were working (paid for by the U.S. Government), a minimum wage equal to U.S. domestic farm laborers, and decent housing to live in while they were working.  The Mexicans laborers had to provide their own food and health insurance, which were usually deducted from their pay.  At the end of their contract they were to return back to Mexico at the end of the harvest.  Any Mexican who did not abide by their contract was deported back to Mexico.” – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Farm Labor Cycles

During World War I, relatively few Americans went off to war, compared to the next war. American farmers worked hard to supply the war effort, producing an abundance of agricultural products. Mexican Braceros commonly worked alongside American farmers. The war had farmers on a roll. A post-war economy came as a financial shock to our farmers as orders from the federal government dwindled to a halt. Farmers, mortgaged to the hilt, worked even harder, producing more, to pay debts, but inevitably, inescapably, bankruptcy took hold of U.S. agriculture.

American men returning from the first World War needed jobs, so our federal government deported about 500,000 Mexican farm workers and the Great Depression added to the conundrum of finding work for native-born American men. Most Mexican farm immigrants chose to remain in the U.S. as illegal aliens.

World War II pretty much depleted the American workforce of men, thereby leading to The Bracero Program at the behest of famers. The workers came. They worked. They were made promises. Promises were broken. Notably, Texas opted out of the Bracero Program, preferring an “open border” policy.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform – New Bracero Program In Disguise

This time around, it’s the U.S. Chamber of Commerce clamoring for “comprehensive immigration reform”. As Yogi Berra would say, “It’s deja vu all over again.” Industries need workers. American citizens have learned how to live on “disability”, “extended unemployment”, food stamps and subsidized housing (including the reverse mortgage program). Most welfare recipients have free cell phones paid for by tax dollars. But, laziness isn’t the only driving force behind “comprehensive immigration reform”.

Apart from the two World Wars, another war has dramatically depleted the U.S. labor force: a war on unborn American citizens – abortion. The War on the Womb has claimed the lives of over 53,000,000 Americans, the equivalent of almost twice the population of Texas. Yes, there is a dire need for willing workers. But, politics seems to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at just the right moment.

What will be the outcome? It’s difficult to predict, but this sitting president threatens to use his pen and his telephone to override and unconstitutionally bypass Congress. Will the Tyrant-in-Chief declare himself King?

Regardless what happens with or without “comprehensive immigration reform”, history is poised to repeat itself as The Great Depression II looms ever larger. Under this president, national debt has dangerously risen well beyond any capacity we have to repay it. National debt this morning surpasses $17.6 TRILLION, translating to $151,527/taxpayer.

John White

Speaker Boehner Statement on Tax Vote

john-boehner-banner

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) this evening issued the following statement:

“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass.  Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff.  The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation’s crippling debt.  The Senate must now act.”

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Editorial Commentary – Rockwall Conservative

It was Speaker Boehner’s much publicized “Plan B” that failed: raising taxes without cutting spending.

Across Texas Congressional District 4 my fellow Texans are telling our Congressman Ralph M. Hall to CUT SPENDING.

The imbalance of revenue to expenditures isn’t a matter of too little taxation, it’s a matter of too much spending.

Like a spoiled child that can’t have his way, President Obama sulks off the playing field, signifying he won’t play if he can’t make the rules.

Long ago the Founding Fathers made the rules and their priorities are clearly visible today. In order of importance, Article 1 creates the Legislative Branch, Article 2 the Executive Branch and Article 3 the Judiciary.

Article 1 empowers a simple majority of the Legislature to pass a bill that becomes law, if the President does not veto it. However, underscoring the hierarchy of authority in this country, a two-thirds majority outranks any president.

In our representative form of government, We the People are the ultimate human authority over taxes, spending and debt. House members simply represent our wishes.

Article 1, Section 7 (excerpt)

All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Article 1, Section 8 (excerpts)

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

Action Item

Continue to call and write your Congressional delegation. Here in Texas, our senators are:

Senator John Cornyn

517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-2934
Fax: 202-228-2856

Webform for email: http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm 

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4304
Main: 202-224-5922
Fax: 202-224-0776

Webform for email: http://www.hutchison.senate.gov/?p=email_kay

Your U.S. Representative

Webform for email to all House Members: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

For example, to contact Congressman Ralph Hall, enter zip code 75087 in the box shown. On the following web page, click on the small envelope symbol next to the Congressman’s small photograph. A webform then awaits your comments to the Congressman or Congresswoman.

Don’t Budge on the Budget – An Open Letter to Congressman Ralph Hall

To the Honorable Ralph M. Hall
U.S. House of Representatives
2405 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515-0001
 

Congressman Hall,

Apparently, Speaker John Boehner feels the need to “move to the center” and I wish to remind you that a balanced budget IS the center. Yielding to this president’s demands is simply moving farther to the left of center.

This president has a miserable track record that is consistently inconsistent. Consider his words back on March 16, 2006:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.”

Only six years ago raising the debt limit was a sign of failed leadership? How is raising the debt limit not a sign of failed leadership today?

I insist you stay on the right side of this power struggle and oppose any and all tax increases.

Barack Obama was right six years ago, wrong today. Here is my computation of the magnitude of our national debt. As a means to relate its astronomical magnitude, I relate dollars to second of time.

Relating National Debt in Dollars to Seconds of Time
Relating National Debt in Dollars to Seconds of Time

The core problem is unbridled spending by the federal government, spending funded by borrowed money. Let’s cut federal spending and let’s do it now. The entire world is waiting for our leadership.

Under Barack Obama and a Democrat Senate majority, this president has effectively added 177,575 years of indebtedness.

I appreciate your leadership in the House on this matter.

Sincerely,

John White
Rockwall, Texas
Texas Congressional District-4

Blank Check for B. H. Obama? – Nancy Must Be Crazy!

Proof Nancy Pelosi has not read the Constitution.

Nancy Pelosis proposes yielding Congressional authority to her messiah
Nancy leads a chorus of I surrender all (to Obama)

According to The Examiner,

“On Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters she supports giving Barack Obama the power to unilaterally raise the debt limit to infinity, bypassing Congress in a move that clearly violates the Constitution…”

Well, what saith the Constitution?

The Constitution (the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921) directs the president to submit (accept or yield to a superior force or stronger person) a budget to Congress. “Submit” is the operative term here.

Why does the Constitution, and subsequent law, direct the President to submit a budget to Congress, because Congress is the most powerful branch of government. For those who don’t know, the Judiciary is the weakest. How can you tell? Very simply: the Congress can “fire” presidents and judges, but judges and presidents can’t fire members of Congress, only Congress can fire its own.

Miss Nancy proposes to abrogate her Constitutional and fiduciary duties to the American People.

Your Congressional delegation needs to hear from you today. Congress is responsible for holding the president accountable, but Nancy wants to give her ‘messiah’ unlimited authority to tax and spend.

Don’t Believe in Prophets? Ignore Them at Your Own Peril

Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

Amos3:7 NKJV

For my Baptist brethren and other evangelicals who believe the offices of apostle and prophet ended with the death of Jesus, I provide you a word count out of the New Testament:

Pastor – one incidence in Ephesians 4:11

Evangelist – three incidences found in Acts 21:8, Ephesians 4:11 and 2 Timothy 4:5

Teacher – thirteen incidences from John 3:2 to 2 Peter 2:1

Apostle – eighty incidences from Matthew 10:2 to Revelation 21:14
Prophet – one hundred fifty-seven incidences from Matthew 1:22 to Revelation 22:9

And He [Jesus Christ] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

Your theology general says prophets and apostle ended with Jesus. Question: Did you talk with Jesus about this? He doesn’t seem to agree. As it is written in the letter to the Ephesians, it was Jesus himself who gave us these five ministries.

If one sole incidence of the word ‘pastor’ satisfies your theology and you can deny 157 incidences of the word ‘prophet’ in the New Testament, as used by Jesus, Apostle Paul and Apostle John, then the rest of what I write will be absolutely of no value to you whatsoever.

Prophet John Paul Jackson boldly expresses warnings of near future events that will affect the lives of every man, woman and child alive on the face of the earth. He calls these imminent events “The Perfect Storm”.

I challenge you to spend a half hour listening to this warning accompanied by John Paul’s recommendations for preparedness.

“I can’t tell you what I don’t know” – John Paul Jackson
I think of him as the ‘pragmatic prophet’. He can’t tell you when these events will transpire, but you can bet your last dollar they will come to pass.
Click on image above to hear about The Perfect Storm (33:30)

Yes He Can! – Need a Reason to Vote Republican?

Timely Update – Current National Debt

It has become my custom to relate to you the magnitude of our national debt, as a function of time, where $1.00 = 1 second of time.

If you think THIS is frightening, look below to see the magnitude of national debt, IF Obama gets elected to another four-year term.

Projected National Debt – Consequence of a Second Obama Term of Office

From The Blaze: Compilation of Treasury Data and OMB Fiscal Year 2013 Mid-Session Review

Want a broader context? Have you seen the movie? Learn why Obama is doing what he is doing to America.

Obama’s America: 2016

View trailer below…

Winepress of The Grapes of Wrath

 

John Steinbeck: A Biography - Available from Amazon.com
The Dust Bowl years coincided with the Great Depression, greatly magnifying disastorous effects of either calamity. Steinbeck actually participated in bringing relief to starving children and families.

Excerpts from John Steinbeck: A Biography

Author: Jay Parini   
Title: John Steinbeck
Publisher: Henry Holt
Date: Copyright 1995 by Jay Parini
Pages: 148, 198-199

In today’s excerpt – in 1933, thirty-one year old author John Steinbeck newly famous and living near Monterrey, California, with its unmatched views of the Pacific Ocean, began to notice the strange appearance of rundown vehicles from Oklahoma.  By 1938, he was watching destitute fathers cooking rats, dogs and cats as food for their children while working on what would become The Grapes of Wrath.  Though it became a best-seller, and was almost immediately recognized as an American classic, it was also reviled, accused of being “a lie, a black infernal creation of a twisted, distorted mind” by Oklahoma’s Congressman Lyle Boren, and banned by school boards in New York, Illinois, California, and elsewhere:

“To get away from the desperate scene [of his parent's illness] at home [in 1933], Steinbeck went for long walks around the town and its outlying areas; for the first time he noticed the old jalopies from Oklahoma stacked high with furniture and spilling over with ragged people en route to what they imagined was a new life in the West. This was the first trickle of Dust Bowl refugees to reach California, and Steinbeck immediately saw the glare of disappoint­ment on their faces and was moved. These ‘Okies’ set up a shantytown outside of Salinas that soon was called Little Oklahoma by the locals, and Steinbeck once spent an afternoon visiting them and hearing their stories. ‘There’s a novel here somewhere,’ he said to [his wife] Carol later. Little did he know, then, what an amazing novel it would be and how it would change his life. … 

“He was hard at work on The Grapes of Wrath by midwinter [of 1938], taking occasional field trips to the sanitary camps, where conditions seemed only to worsen. In the interior valleys, he noted to [his agent] Elizabeth Otis, ‘five thousand families were starving to death.’ What appalled him was that local bankers and businessmen, the class of people he in a sense came from, did everything they could to thwart the migrants, hoping to drive them back to the Dust Bowl. He decided to write about the crisis in the local papers as a way of getting back at those who were doing the damage. ‘Shame and a hatred of publicity will do the job to the miserable local bankers,’ he told Otis, full of just indignation. ‘The death of children by starvation in our valleys is simply staggering.’ (One article did eventually come out in a local paper.)

“There was a huge flood in the Visalia region, with lightning flickering along the valley and rain falling slantwise for weeks on end. Migrant fami­lies found themselves sleeping in wet blankets, with water pouring through the thin cloth of battered tents. Children ran in the rain, got chilled, caught pneumonia, and died for lack of medicine and dry clothes or bedding. Food was scarce, and frantic fathers hunted the dumps for rats, dogs, and cats, which were duly cooked over smoldering fires. Those who still had working automobiles found themselves stranded at the roadsides, their wheels sunk in mud, their carburetors soaked. The Farm Security Administration worked day and night to bring relief in the form of food and medicine to these desperate people, but the small relief that it could offer barely scratched the surface of the problem.

“On February 14, Steinbeck joined [federal camp manager] Tom Collins for two weeks of work at the Weedpatch camp. The old pie truck couldn’t make it through the waterlogged road to the camp, where the ridges were two and three feet deep in places, so he set out with Collins on foot, walking through the night to get to the camp. Once there, though chilled and splattered and racked with a deep cough, Steinbeck worked frantically to help the sick and dying for two days without sleep, often dragging half-starved people under trees for shelter from the rain, which continued unabated. Mud-caked, drenched, and exhausted, Steinbeck continued working day after day, driven to action by the pathetic conditions of the migrants, many of whom were too weak from hunger to walk even a few steps toward a meal.

“He returned to Los Gatos for a few days at the end of the month, then headed straight back to Visalia. This time he went with a photogra­pher and an assignment from Life [magazine]. If he was going to be famous, he might as well put his fame to good use; now people would pay attention to his byline. ‘I break myself every time I go out because the argument that one person’s effort can’t really do anything doesn’t seem to apply when you come to a bunch of starving children and you have a little money,’ he wrote to Elizabeth Otis. But a serious blow came when Life refused to print the article. It was, the editor explained, too ‘liberal’ for the maga­zine’s taste. It was never kosher, then or now, to suggest that all is not well in America. Our national intentions are always good; our people are generous. The government exists to help the sick and the poor, the lame and the needy. And so forth. Steinbeck ran smack into the self-censorship of editors that has always been a crude fact of American journalism: you can say anything you want, they tell the writer, but you can’t say it here.”

Paperback

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Footnote to History

Dust Storms left over 500,000 persons homeless. Thousands died of either “dust pneumonia” or starvation.

How many died of starvation? While there are no official records, as one would find today, estimates range between 7,000,000 and 12,000,000 deaths from starvation and/or malnutrition.

Homelessness is an important issue in today’s American economy. Approximately 5,000,000 home mortgages are classified “non-performing”. As a matter of fact, there are people continuing to live in modest homes for which no mortgage payment has been paid since 2005.

At a ratio of 3.5 persons per household, you can readily see that as many as 17,500,000 Americans face imminent peril.

Will you look the other way? John Steinbeck did not.

Another author, Harry Dent, writes a newsletter for investors. His book “The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash that Follows” lays out a compelling forecast of a more disastorous event than the first Great Depression.

The Great Depression Ahead by Harry S. Dent available on line
Available on line at http://www.hsdent.com