Bracero Pay Struggle

December 29, 2008 7:13:54 PM PST
Time is running out for thousands of Mexican laborers who worked in the United States during World War Two. Their wages were taken from them by the Mexican government and never returned. Braceros have until January 5th to apply for those back wages. Some say the fight may not be worth it after all.

Inoscent Sarmiento and his family have been sitting in front of the Fresno Consulate of Mexico all day long.

Sarmiento is applying for back wages taken by the Mexican government from his father, a Bracero who worked for the Santa Fe Railroad during World War Two.

In October, a San Francisco Judge made a ruling, giving Braceros living in the United States or one of their surviving heirs entitlement to $3,500.00. Since then, more than 1500 people have applied in Fresno for those wages, including 75-year-old Ramon Asuncio.

The Consulate has extended their hours to deal with Bracero claims, but people we spoke to say they're making it very difficult for ex-guest workers to get what they deserve.

The Mexican Consulate says they don't make the rules set forth by the congress of Mexico. But, they are doing the best they can. To be eligible, the Consulate says you must have proof. Proof, some Braceros say will be hard to find.

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