The cycle of poverty mexican-american migrant farmworkers testify before congress ways to make money from

In the early 20th century, large-scale commercial agriculture displaced family farms, tenant farmers, and sharecroppers. Hand labor, however, remained more cost effective for harvesting certain fruits and vegetables. Farmworkers under this new system were hired only for seasonal ways to make money from work and had to travel frequently. The migratory experience left these workers—primarily mexicans, mexican americans, african americans, puerto ricans, and filipinos—permanent outsiders and vulnerable to exploitation, low wages, and wretched working and living conditions. The national labor relations act of 1935 established rights of ways to make money from industrial workers to unionize. The act omitted farmworkers, though, due in part to fears that the powerful farm growers’ lobby would prevent passage. Organized efforts by unions and others to rescind the exemption ways to make money from failed in subsequent years. In the 1960s, the united farm workers of america (UFW), led by cesar chavez, started a strike and boycott of table grapes that gained ways to make money from nationwide support. Although california enacted the first state legislation to protect farm ways to make money from labor union organizing in 1975, other states did not follow, and many union gains in california have since been lost. In the following testimony from a 1969 senate hearing, migrant farmworkers from florida and texas discussed their experiences and ways to make money from problems. Since 1970, fresh fruit consumption in the U.S. Has risen sharply, increasing the demand for hand labor. Living and working conditions for migrants remain poor in much ways to make money from of the country.

Mr. JUAREZ. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I have prepared a statement that I would like to ways to make money from present to you. This statement is based on what I myself lived through ways to make money from since I was old enough to work and became a ways to make money from migrant at the age of 5. Based on my experience and how I continue to see ways to make money from the way my people suffer, in this statement I would like to express my feelings, as well as my opinions, and the feeling and opinions of others that I have ways to make money from worked with side by side in the fields.

Of all the groups living in poverty, the migrant farmworker and his family in general suffer the ways to make money from greatest socioeconomic deprivation. The migrant farmworker and his family travels throughout the nation, living from day to day, depending upon his luck that the crops are good and ways to make money from that nothing happens, for instance, while he travels on the road.

Him and his family will eat as little and as ways to make money from cheap as he can, for he has very little money to get there. If his car breaks down, the mechanics overcharge him as much as they feel they ways to make money from can get away with. Because of bad weather and the time that laps between ways to make money from each crop, it is impossible for him to save any money—plus the high cost of living, plus the excessive amount of rent that he has to ways to make money from pay for the rat and roach infested pigpen that him ways to make money from and his family are forced to live in while he ways to make money from lives in florida.

So when crops are over in the state of florida, there is no way that he can continue to survive, so he migrates. And because of that the migrant farmworkers have had great ways to make money from difficulties in their employment relationships, much of this arising out of exploitation and abuse by ways to make money from irresponsible farmers and crew leaders who sometimes underpay them, short count them, and overcharge them for transportation. Crew leaders on occasions, collect wages from the employers and then abandon the workers ways to make money from without paying them.

Our children suffer regardless of what you do. If he goes to school, often he goes without breakfast—and if you are able to find out about the ways to make money from free lunch program and was able to take the insults ways to make money from or had the courage to fight for it, and find someone to fill out the forms, then your child might get lunch. For there are very few schools who have people who ways to make money from will search for ways to help you and many persons ways to make money from who will search for as many ways possible to keep ways to make money from you from getting such services.

This is also true in some of the federal and ways to make money from state local agencies. For we have a very discriminatory and humiliating welfare system ways to make money from and unconstitutional residency requirements for receiving welfare and health services. Some of those people, when not able to deprive us from such services on ways to make money from terms of residency, plainly tell us we have no right and that we ways to make money from don’t belong—thus making most of my people mad, never to return.

What this system and our society is going to have ways to make money from to know and understand is that the migrant farmworker, even though tired, uneducated, hungry, and sick, have contributed and sacrificed just as much as anyone else ways to make money from and more than most to this nation. We have cultivated this earth, planted and harvested all crops for generations in order to ways to make money from provide all the luxuries in food, clothing, and many other items that those of society which surrounds ways to make money from us enjoy today.

My people, the migrants in general, composed of all types of americans, regardless of race, color, or religion, our fathers, our sons, our kin, have died in wars fighting for the security and peace ways to make money from of this nation as well as in the fields while ways to make money from harvesting the crops because of irresponsible farmers and their insecticides ways to make money from sprayed in the fields.

Hunger, malnutrition, sickness, and lack of education will continue to exist. Our children will continue to suffer because children cannot study ways to make money from if they are hungry, always ill, and trying to do homework in hot and crowded shacks. And our men today will continue to lack the initiative ways to make money from and power because a hungry man with children who are ways to make money from sick and suffering from malnutrition, who must be constantly struggling to live and keep his ways to make money from family alive will soon tire and if he continues to ways to make money from seek assistance in the traditional government-processed way, and makes no headway, god knows how long he will be patient in his ways to make money from struggle to get his children out of the cycle of ways to make money from poverty that this system, through discriminatory legislation, has kept.

Therefore, discriminary legislation practices should continue no more. The migrant worker should be covered by the national labor ways to make money from relations act with additional favorable rights as well as workman’s compensation laws, unemployment compensation, insurance laws, social security codes must be enforced to improve the conditions ways to make money from of housing provided to him. Programs such as housing loans, small business loans which the migrant has never heard about ways to make money from until others who have recently come into this nation.

The men who are in power must fight hard to ways to make money from make real changes in society and society’s laws. Change all discriminatory laws and attitudes. The men who are in power must help the powerless ways to make money from to gain power and all rights entitled to him. Bad programs of the establishment must be eliminated for good ways to make money from programs. Those which dispute the powers that be and fight for ways to make money from the poor must be maintained and encouraged in their activities.

If the poor are not given extra encouragement and help ways to make money from in gaining power over their own lives and influence into ways to make money from the general society in order to eliminate poverty; if the governments, local and national, do not respond to the real needs of the poor ways to make money from through traditional processes, the poor will find other ways to make their needs ways to make money from known and to gain power. . . .

Mr. JUAREZ. Well, through our crew leader, through a person who had a truck who recruited labor ways to make money from who found out that the sugar beet company in ohio ways to make money from happened to be in need of labor and so he ways to make money from just went around and since he was known to most ways to make money from of the people there, even to my father, these families were talked into coming to ohio where the ways to make money from word that he gave was you can sweep money with ways to make money from a broom.

So this is the way we were sold in the ways to make money from state of ohio. I remember that it was a little town called metamora, ohio. From there, because of the rains we didn’t get to even know what the sugar beets looked ways to make money from like. Then I didn’t even know what sugar beets were. But we were kept there anyway because the man who ways to make money from brought us there just brought us there for what he ways to make money from got and he returned. We never seen him no more.

Mr. JUAREZ. Yes, and we created a big debt. My father and all the rest of the families got ways to make money from in real bad debt. They split up the families, the company did, and found other various jobs so that they could pay ways to make money from for the food that they had eaten, my father. And my cousin, which was the oldest one in our family, was the one who worked along with him.

The job that they got was the railroad company, railroad tracks, working on the railroad. After he paid, after they paid the debt and we were able to ways to make money from make enough money to try to return to texas, we only made it as far as osceola, ark., because while we were there waiting to transfer on the ways to make money from bus, one of my sisters was very sick and then we ways to make money from met another mexican-american fellow there that told us about the good cotton ways to make money from that was being raised there and we had picked cotton ways to make money from before.

The only reason we went to wisconsin was because when ways to make money from I was about, 1 year, there was 1 year, way after we had already started migrating back into ohio ways to make money from to pick tomatoes and indiana to pick tomatoes and michigan ways to make money from to pick cherries. When we went to duran, it was because I stowed away in a crew leader’s truck and I ran away from home. I was 12 years then. I was able after being tested by the foreman to ways to make money from prove my ability to do the job.

Mr. JUAREZ. Well, now I am employed by the south florida migrant legal ways to make money from services. I was lucky enough to get a job there after ways to make money from trying for about 2 weeks without working in the fields ways to make money from so that I could go over and try to get ways to make money from a job because it has been my ambition to get ways to make money from out of the migratory road because I don’t want my children to live the life I did.

Mr. JUAREZ. Well, for some it is possible sometimes, but on very few occasions it is possible. For example, the only reason I was able to get out of ways to make money from that system and happened to decide to stay in florida ways to make money from was because there is a longer period of time where ways to make money from there is work available over there and if I stayed ways to make money from there was only about 3 to 4 months where there ways to make money from wouldn’t be no work, and usually when a migrant tries to stay in one ways to make money from place or he wants to quit the migrant stream, there is a lot of questions that trouble to your ways to make money from mind.

Thus these questions go in your mind and a lot ways to make money from of them try. They will try for 3 and 4 years, continue to try each time in a place where it ways to make money from might look favorable to them where they see that there ways to make money from might be a job that they might be capable to ways to make money from do. But then there are doubts and, not knowing anyone in the community and then going into ways to make money from town and you get looks, people look at you with a question in their face ways to make money from like, what is this person doing here, where did he come from? Or the police is liable to pick you up for ways to make money from vagrancy if you are just standing out there trying to ways to make money from find a job or be friendly with anyone.

Mr. JUAREZ. They have one answer right away, “if you don’t like it, you know where you came from.” and you can’t very well try to get anybody else to protest ways to make money from or protest yourself because you will be thrown out and ways to make money from if you don’t have any money, where are you going to go, and then they consider you a troublemaker. So its very bad, you know, for that. It creates a bad feeling because then they can usually ways to make money from pay somebody else even in the group, for example, to deal with you in many ways.

Mr. JUAREZ. No. Even the police, you know, the experience that the migrant has had with the police ways to make money from is something terrible. He can’t trust a police officer. If he sees a uniform he can’t trust it because the police has had a way ways to make money from with people who don’t belong in that community or who are not from ways to make money from there because as soon as something happens, then those people did it, since they come here it has happened, and usually, you know, like other people may get the benefit of a knock ways to make money from on the door, the migrant gets his door knocked down or opened even ways to make money from at night at 11 or 12 o’clock if they happen to be looking for somebody, they just go over and break the door down and ways to make money from shine the light on people that are sleeping on the ways to make money from floor because there is only room in that, only space enough in that room to put a bed ways to make money from or two and you don’t have enough bedding for all of them in that ways to make money from room.

Mr. JUAREZ. How? Who is going to believe you anyway? There are people in here doubting it, you know. I should feel hate, you know, because I can sense people in this room, you know, because I have been sensing it all my life and ways to make money from I have been trained to that, and I should feel hate, you know, but I don’t. I pity them, you know, because they are only sick people.

Senator MONDALE. I noticed that there were a good number of mexican-americans who had come from texas who lived in florida. Many of them had left. You went around, but you finally got to florida. Collier and lee counties are the two places where we ways to make money from saw thousands of mexican-americans when we went with the hunger committee. Why do they go to florida?

Mr. JUAREZ. Well, you see the cycle of crops are not always in ways to make money from the same months of time. There is even a cycle of crops in the state ways to make money from of florida and each group, even though there are very many migrants to this day, follows, each group specializes in certain crops. For example, those who like tomatoes will follow tomatoes until there is ways to make money from no more tomatoes. Then they will do something else.

Mrs. KRUEGER. Well, for one thing I think down in the valley there ways to make money from is, oh, I am not too good at figures, but I would say there would be about 80 percent ways to make money from mexican-american population, but the thing is that we as mexican descendants have ways to make money from feelings, pride, and a feeling of gratitude, and when some of our mexican-americans climb up the ladder, if they want to stay over there, they have to take orders from the higher power structure ways to make money from and just not heed the cries of the problems of ways to make money from the others.

Source: congress, senate, committee on labor and public welfare, migrant and seasonal farmworker powerlessness: hearings before the subcommittee on migratory labor of the committee ways to make money from on labor and public welfare, united states senate, 91st congress, 1st and 2d sessions on who are the migrants? June 9 and 10, 1969, part 1 (washington: U.S. Government printing office, 1970).

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