Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José Ramirez Delgado was born in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila, México, but he grew up in Gómez Palacio, Durango, México; he had five sisters and four brothers; as a child, he helped his father work in the fields; after completing his military service in 1945, he came into the United States as an undocumented worker; in 1950, he enlisted in the bracero program; as a bracero, he worked in the cotton fields of Texas until 1964.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Ramirez discusses his family, childhood, and growing up in a small village after México’s land redistribution; in 1945, 1946, and 1949, he came into the United States as an undocumented worker; he goes on to detail these experiences and explain how he was ultimately able to obtain a contract without having to return to Mexico; in 1950, he enlisted in the bracero program while in México; as a bracero, he worked irrigating and picking cotton in various places throughout Texas; he was a particularly talented gardener, and his employers would often send him to work at area country clubs; in addition, he recounts an incident that occurred while he was working as a bracero, and he was hospitalized as a result of his duties; he also discusses wages, working and living conditions, duties, correspondence, remittances, recreational activities, and community attitudes toward braceros; he continued working with the program until 1964; he speaks about the economic influence braceros had on both sides of the border.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with José Ramirez Delgado by Anaís Acosta, 2005, "Interview no. 1088," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.