Sunday, March 18, 2012

Calderón apologies to Bracero workers

Better late than never, though a paltry compensation: On behalf of the Mexican state, Felipe Calderón apologized to braceros, or Mexican foreign workers in the United States between 1942 until they were kicked out in 1964, for having appropriated some of the compensatory funds designated for them.

A touch of pettiness, to boot: He made sure to note it was not his fault, but that of previous governments.

He proceeded to hand out checks in the amount of 38 thousand pesos.

The braceros were a vital part of not only the post-WW 2 boom, but also made a very significant contribution to the U.S. war effort, replacing as they did agricultural and industrial workers who were sent to the battlefields (where also Mexicans died, lest we forget).

The bracero program, which saw some very serious workers abuses given that they were tied directly to an employer and could not change jobs despite frequent abuse, holds a lesson today how not to implement a guest worker program.

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