Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
John L. Augustine was born in El Paso, Texas, on August 29, 1914; his father worked in the mines of Lordsburg, New Mexico; he received a degree in agriculture from New Mexico State University and taught for a brief time; from there, he went on to become an assistant agent for Doña Ana County, where he served as a liaison for the Bracero Program.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Augustine’s first working experience was teaching vocational agriculture in the Farmington Public School System; from there, he went on to become an assistant agent for Doña Ana County under Mr. Lee Gould; upon Mr. Gould’s retirement, Mr. Augustine served as county agent for about ten years; these ten years roughly coincide with the first decade of the Bracero Program; as an acting liaison for the Bracero Program, it was his job to ensure that things ran smoothly; he would report the number of necessary workers the farmers needed to the contracting agency; in addition, he intervened and settled disputes between farmers and braceros, and he also required farmers to provide adequate housing according to the program standards; he also recalls the specific harvest seasons braceros were hired and their corresponding duties; to the best of his recollection, there were never any major problems with the program; the use of the braceros provided a symbiotic relationship in which the needs of both the braceros and the farmers were met.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with John L. Augustine by Beth Morgan, 2003, "Interview No. 1551," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.