Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José Parra was born in Sahuarichi, Chihuahua, México, in 1949; he and his father worked together in the fields for seven years; in 1949, he was hired as a bracero; he worked in the cotton fields of New Mexico and Texas; his last year as a bracero was in 1956.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Parra learned of the Bracero Program from an Immigration official while he was working illegally in Texas; the first time he was hired as a bracero, he was sent to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, but then he had to return to Chihuahua, México, in order to renew his work contract after that; he recalls that there were centers strategically placed near towns where there were ranches so that the braceros could quickly be sent to the ranches where they would work; the main difference for him between working as a bracero and working illegally was the freedom he enjoyed to go wherever he pleased as a bracero; even so, he and other braceros suffered from racism; they were viewed by some Americans as foreigners who stole their jobs.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with José Parra by Myrna Parra-Mantilla, 2003, "Interview no. 984," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.