Affiliation at time of award:
Dept. of American Ethnic Studies
University of Washington
Photo courtesy of The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies
Cheap for Whom? Migration, Farm Labor, and Social Reproduction in the Imperial Valley–Mexicali Borderlands, 1942–1964
During her residence, Méndez will devote her time to completing Subsidized Labor: The Bracero Program in the Imperial Valley–Mexicali Borderlands, 1942–1969. This book manuscript examines the socioeconomic transformations that the Bracero Program generated in California’s Imperial Valley and across the US-Mexico border in Mexicali, Baja California. Whereas the Imperial Valley obtained a cheap source of contract labor under the Bracero Program, Mexicali faced mounting socioeconomic pressures from a growing and urbanizing population that migrated north, attracted by the prospect of employment in the United States. Asking who pays the price of cheap labor, this project underscores the importance of migrant social reproduction and traces the historical legacies of a nation that has welcomed migrants as individual workers but conveniently ignores and excludes their families.
Generous funding for this Fellowship provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.