Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Ray Reaves was born in Missouri, but due to difficulties with his mother’s health, his family moved to Alpine, Texas, when he was an infant; his mother died when he was only four years old, and he was raised by his step-mother; in 1945, he began working with the Border Patrol; later in 1950, he worked with the Trans Pecos Cotton Association and the Bracero Program.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Reaves vividly recalls the details of his childhood and early adolescence; during World War II, he tried to enlist in the service but injuries to his knee kept him from being accepted; in 1945, he was hired on a temporary basis as a Border Patrol agent; he recounts his experiences as an agent and how he patrolled certain areas in west Texas; his appointment with the Border Patrol became permanent in 1951; he later began working with the Trans Pecos Cotton Association and the Bracero Program; it was his responsibility to ensure that the farmers’ contracts were fulfilled with the correct number of workers; in addition, he describes how he would travel to various recruiting centers in Texas and Chihuahua, Mexico, to process the braceros.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Ray Reaves by Richard Baquera, 2003, "Interview No. 1567," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.