Braceros & Border Jumpers
Transnational working communities -- communities of working people that exist simultaneously on both sides of a border, or in more than one country at the same time -- are not new. In the context of the U.S. and Mexico, they are in part due to the migration of Mexicans north. As the first step in exploring this social reality, Braceros and Border Crossers looks at the experience of migrating, of going north. It is primarily an effort to see the experience historically, in terms of the personal memories of people who participated in the largest organized wave of migration, the bracero program, in which Mexicans were recruited to work as farm and railroad workers from 1941 to 1964. Three interviews record that experience. The fourth interview looks at it from the point of view of the child of a bracero family, who had the unique experience of growing up in both worlds, and who became committed to life as a partioipant in movements for social change as a result. The final article describes the experience of young people today as they wait just south of the border, looking for a chance to continue their journey north.
"Border Jumper" refers to the Mexican expression, brincar a la linea, or jump over the line, a way of describing the passage across the border.
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Special Project: TRANSNATIONAL WORKING COMMUNITIES
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