Jesus Ortiz Torres

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

: Mr. Ortíz recalls the humble beginnings of his childhood and how much he and his family suffered; in 1960, he married Juana Moreno Gómez [See also No. XX], and shortly thereafter he began working as a bracero; he initially traveled to border cities in México on his own, where the only requirement was to pick a certain amount of cotton in order to cross into the United States; there were times, however, that he still had to wait for days or weeks to be called even after picking cotton, but some men were never called; he talks about not having any more money after waiting so long and being so desperately hungry that he had to beg for food; upon arriving in the United States he was stripped naked and medically examined, which was embarrassing; as a bracero he worked in Arkansas, California, Idaho, Michigan, and Texas, picking cotton, cucumbers, and tomatoes; moreover, he goes on to detail the various worksites, duties, living conditions, provisions, payment, and remittances; he also explains one instance in which there was a misunderstanding, and his family thought he had died; while working in Arkansas it rained a great deal, which made it impossible to pick crops or make any money; after the program ended he returned to the United States as an undocumented worker on several occasions, and he was also deported a few times, but he was ultimately able to arrange for residency; although he did suffer as a bracero, his overall memories of the program are positive.