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Alina Mendez


Mellon Fellow

Affiliation at time of award:
Assistant Professor
Dept. of American Ethnic Studies
University of Washington

Alina Mendez, 2020 SAR Resident Scholar

Alina Mendez

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 ValleyMexicali Borderlands, 19421969. 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.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Generous funding for this Fellowship provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.