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1951 Public Law 78 - Extension of the Bracero Program (An act to amend the agricultural act of 1949)

S. 984; Pub.L. 82-78; 65 Stat. 119.

82nd Congress; July 12, 1951.

You can find the full text of this law as a PDF here.



Public Law 78 was an amendment to the Agricultural Act of 1949 in an effort to include agricultural workers within the act. This was significant because the Act was extended to workers from Mexico. The act was an effort to increase the amount of labor help during World War II, but included strict limitations for both the farmer and the farm worker. One of the limitations in regards to both entities was the limitation of work. The Secretary of Labor had the authority to determine whether a certain area had enough domestic workers, therefore excluding the farmeworker from Mexico from employment. The amendment was had the intention of lasting approximately two years.

(Summary by Jason Perez)



The Official Bracero Agreement - The website contains the contractual agreements between Mexico and the U.S. in regards to the Bracero Program, as well as revisions after its inception in 1942.

Minnesotans for Sustainability - The site is dedicated to those who are opposed to guest worker programs - such as the Bracero Program - and contains a written statement addressed to the U.S Senate by Dr. Vernon Briggs of Cornell University.

Opportunity or Exploitation: The Bracero Program - The site is owned by the Smithsonian Institute, and its intention is to address whether the Bracero Program was an economic opportunity for Mexican farmworkers seeking financial gain in the United States, or a practice of exploitation of cheap labor and poor working conditions brought upon by the farmer and supported by the U.S. government.


Many thanks to Hein Online for document provision, and The University of Washington-Bothell Library, for arranging web hosting. If you have any questions about this site, please contact the course instructor, Sarah Starkweather, at sarah [dot] starkweather [at] gmail [dot] com.