Mexican nationals arrive in Yakima Valley under the Bracero Program beginning on October 5, 1942.

  • By Gonzalo Guzman
  • Posted 9/20/2006
  • Essay 7952
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Beginning on October 5, 1942, and continuing through October 15, more than 500 Mexican nationals arrive in the Yakima Valley under the Emergency Farm Labor Supply program to alleviate the farm-labor shortage during the war (World War II). The Emergency Farm Labor Supply program, nationally known as the Bracero program, lasted in the Pacific Northwest from 1942 until 1947.

By 1945, Washington alone had more than 5,000 Braceros (Mexican nationals) working in agriculture. After 1947, the Bracero workforce was supplemented by Mexican American migrants from the Mountain States (Colorado and Arizona) and the Southwest (mainly Texas), influencing permanent Latino settlement in Washington state.


Erasmo Gamboa, "Mexican Migration Into Washington State: A History, 1940-1960," Pacific Northwest Quarterly Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 1981); Erasmo Gamboa, Mexican Labor and World War II: Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, 1942-1947 Second Edition (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999).

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