Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José Ramirez Delgado was born in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila, México, but he grew up in Gómez Palacio, Durango, México; he had five sisters and four brothers; as a child, he helped his father work in the fields; after completing his military service in 1945, he came into the United States as an undocumented worker; in 1950, he enlisted in the bracero program; as a bracero, he worked in the cotton fields of Texas until 1964.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Ramirez discusses his family, childhood, and growing up in a small village after México’s land redistribution; in 1945, 1946, and 1949, he came into the United States as an undocumented worker; he goes on to detail these experiences and explain how he was ultimately able to obtain a contract without having to return to Mexico; in 1950, he enlisted in the bracero program while in México; as a bracero, he worked irrigating and picking cotton in various places throughout Texas; he was a particularly talented gardener, and his employers would often send him to work at area country clubs; in addition, he recounts an incident that occurred while he was working as a bracero, and he was hospitalized as a result of his duties; he also discusses wages, working and living conditions, duties, correspondence, remittances, recreational activities, and community attitudes toward braceros; he continued working with the program until 1964; he speaks about the economic influence braceros had on both sides of the border.
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Interview with José Ramirez Delgado by Anaís Acosta, 2005, "Interview no. 1088," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.