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Migrant Workers in the 1930's.
Transcript of Migrant Workers in the 1930's.
Drake Teller Migrant Workers in the 1930's Who were the migrant workers? How did the Great Depression affect Migrants Workers Migrant workers were people who had nomadic lifestyles, traveling from place to place as the seasons changed looking for seasonal farm labor. In Fall 1931, migrants were arriving in the state of California at the rate of 1,200-1,500 a day, an annual rate of almost 500,000. Many U.S. farm owners recruited Mexicans and Mexican Americans because they believed that these desperate workers would tolerate living conditions that workers of other races would not "Shelters where made of almost every conceivable thing - burlap, canvas, plum branches" library.thinkquest.org/C007481/1930.htm http://migration.ucdavis.edu/rmn/more.php?id=788_0_6_0 http://memory.loc.gov/ammen/ofctshtml.tsme.html California was forceful not the promised land of the migrants' dreams. Although the weather was comparatively balmy and farmers' fields were abundant with produce, Californians also felt the effects of the Depression. Local and state infrastructures were already overburdened, and the steady stream of newly arriving migrants was more than the system could bear. The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl moved hundreds of thousands of Americans. The Depression saw 25% of work force unemployed. People did not just loose their jobs, but their homes, their land, an any of their saving they might have had. http://as.sjsu.edu/sits/content.jsp?val=works_of-mice-and-men_migrant-workers-and-the-great-depression--why-california "Migrants who found employment soon learned that this surfeit of workers caused a significant reduction in the going wage rate. Even with an entire family working, migrants could not support themselves on these low wages. Many set up camps along irrigation ditches in the farmers' fields. These "ditchbank" camps fostered poor sanitary conditions and created a public health problem." http://memorey.loc.gov/ammem/ofctshtml.tsme.html http://www.museumca.org/picturethis/pictures/imperial-valley-%E2%80%93-people-camps Vagrancy Laws Some states, such as California, took measures to keep dependent migrants out of their states. They created so-called vagrancy laws that allowed them to arrest farmers who came into the state, and then they lent the farmers out to work off their fines. Are there Migrant Workers today? Yes, There are still plenty of migrant workers today, traveling from place to place looking for jobs such as, apple picking, strawberry picking, cherry picking, orange picking and many other seasonal fruits.
These are proud people who choose to do backbreaking labor than depend upon charity or welfare. Rarely do they have access to occupational rehabilitation or disability benefits; however, many are eligible for Medicaid, food stamps, and WIC if they live in one area long enough to secure these benefits. http://www.migrantclinician.org/issues/migrant-info/migrant.html