Tirso Yepes Moreno

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Yepes briefly recounts his childhood and adolescence; from 1946 to 1948 he labored in the United States as an undocumented worker; he explains how people were often mistreated by immigration officials upon being deported, and they were intentionally sent to the wrong places; in 1959, he enlisted as a bracero, and he describes what he went through at the processing center in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México; his initial contract was three months, but he renewed it, and ended up staying in Earth, Texas, for a year and a half before returning to México; he had a great relationship with his boss there, and they maintained contact during the following years; as a bracero he went on to work throughout California and Texas picking cotton, strawberries, and tomatoes, and he also drove a tractor and irrigated crops; in addition, he talks about the various worksites, duties, living conditions, provisions, payment, treatment, remittances, and recreational activities; moreover, he talks about how workers’ rights were often violated, but they had no one to turn to for help or support; he relates one incident in which he was verbally and physically mistreated and humiliated at a processing center in Calexico, California; in 1964 he legally emigrated to the United States with the help of his first employer from Earth, Texas; by 1973, the rest of his family was also able to do the same.