Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José G. Corral was born on September 25, 1943, in Delicias, Chihuahua, México; he was the youngest of five children, and his mother died when he was a baby; when he was three years old, his family moved to Meoqui, Chihuahua, México; his father, Luis Corral Ortega, became a bracero in 1946; Luis worked in El Paso, Texas, on the railroads and at a factory that transported livestock from México into the United States; later, the family moved again, to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, which was where José primarily grew up; his father continued working with the program until 1954; Luis was ultimately able to arrange for José’s residency, which allowed him to attend school in the United States and have greater opportunities.
Summary of Interview
Mr. José Corral describes his family and childhood; his father, Luis Corral Ortega, became a bracero in 1946, at which time his family lived in Meoqui, Chihuahua, México; José discusses remittances arriving in the mail and his family’s living conditions in México while his father was away; in 1950, the family had enough money to move to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, where life was slightly better for them; José describes an incident in which his father attempted to legalize his family’s residency, but was only able to arrange for José’s local passport; in addition, José goes on to describe his own educational and work experiences while in the United States, which include attending International Business College in El Paso, Texas, and serving as a district manager for El Paso Water Utilities; his father’s work ethic and commitment to education were things that always stayed with him; moreover, he reflects on the overall significance of braceros to the United States.
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Interview with José G. Corral by Ana Rosas, 2005, "Interview no. 1097," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.