Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Emilio Solís Pallares was born in 1923, in San Miguel Chihuahua, México; his father died when he was eleven years old, and he had to start working in order to help support his family; he was the only one of five siblings to stay with his mother after his father’s death; in 1947, he began working as a bracero, and continued working as such until 1962.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Solís briefly recalls his childhood; after his father’s death, he began working in the fields when he was only eleven years old; he continued working in agriculture throughout his adolescence and young adulthood; in 1943, financial difficulties coupled with a shortage of work led him to the United States to work illegally; he had great difficulties while working in the U.S. because he was often caught by immigration; although by this point he had learned of the Bracero Program, he could not afford to go to Chihuahua, Chihuahua to begin the hiring process; in 1947, he was finally able to afford the trip to Chihuahua in order to enroll in the Bracero Program; the following year, in 1948, he comments that they were not allowed to work as braceros; he recalls that in 1949, the El Paso County Coliseum was used as a reception center for incoming workers; he worked on and off as a bracero from 1947 to 1962.
Date of Interview
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Interview with Emilio Solís Pallares by Myrna Parra-Mantilla, 2003, "Interview no. 1141," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.