Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on September 15, 1974 · Page 6
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 6

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 15, 1974
Page 6
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Page 6 article text (OCR)

· NerthwM* Afkqiwo* TIMES, Sun., Sept. IS, I9M *HKANI*I Once Welcomed With Open Arms Texas farmers No Longer Want Braceros KARLINGEN, Tex. Bfaceros--contract (AP) workers from -Mexico--once were welcomed by South Texas farmers with open arms. But no one wants them now, a survey of Lower Rio Grande Valley agri- eultufal leaders shows. Mexicans pour border illegally across looking the for work. About 750,000 were found and sent back home in 1973, ·nd' some federal authorities say'this is only a fraction of those whe slip into the United States. ; There no longer is much farm work. They head on north and east to industrial jobs. "The bracero program, tailored mainly to allow Mexican field hands to come into the United Stales, was phased out in 1964 after about 15 years. Thousands of Mexican families lived and worked in the United States during the program. Mexician President Luis Ech- ·yerria recently said he would lite to send as many as 300,000 workers to the United States to . ease massive unemployment in Mexico. It has been reported that this proposal will be among the top items on the-agenda when Ech- eve'rria meets President Gerald Ford somewhere along the Mexican border this fall. A survey of agricultural interests in the Valley shows there is little interest and much opposition to a new bracero program. "It may be shoved down our throats anyway," said one farmer. Opposition is not surprising in ·n area 'where up to 22.1 per cent of the labor force is unemployed and almost 24,000 families receive food stamps. The Texas Employment Commission reports that 22.1 per «nt of the labor force in Starr Gounty (Rio Grande City) is unemployed. Unemployment figures for the rest of the valley include 9.8 per cent in Willacy County (Raymondville), 9.7 per cent in Hidalgo County (Ediriburg) and 8.8 per cent in Cameron County (Brownsville.) All these percentages are well above the national average, according to the employment commission. · Baldemar Zuniga, South Texas director for the state food stamp program, reports 12,690 families receive food stamps in Hidalgo County: 7,990 in Cameron County; 2,090 in sparsely populated Starr County and -1,038 in Willacy County. Another reason for opposition Is -that many of the crops harvested in the past by hand are new harvested by machines. "Everything that- can oe mechanized has been mechanized." one local farmer said. "Bracero is Spanish for trouble in this country now," iiaid farm editor Sam Gerald of the Valley Morning Star at Harlingen. Gerald, -who has kept an eye on the agriculture - scene in the Valley for many years, said, "The valley doesn't want a bracero program."' - Gerald said he has talked with many Valley farmers who oppose the plan because of unemployment, too much paper work involved and because loo many potential farm workers are now involved in programs such as food stamps. Othal Brand of G r i f f i n and Brand Co., McAllen. ii firm with farms throughout the Southwest, said his f i r m once used braceros but favored phasing out the program at (he time it ended. Brand said he opposes tlie program now. "We have no trouble obtaining an. adequate work force/' Brand said. P L E N T Y OF LABOR Archie Taylor of the Valley Sugar Growers Cooperative stfiid sugar cane growers have been able to find adequate labor. "Nobody's going to cut sugar cane by hand anyway," Taylor said. Mike Wallace of Texas Citrus Mutual said citrus growers are not seeking a bracero program although there" has 'ocen an occasional hands. shortage of 'harvest with the . bracero Wallace said. pro- "Wo have not pushed for il bccuuse there are a lot of piob lenis grain. A spokesman for one of the Valley's largest farming operations who did not want to be identified said his farm once used braceros but would not be interested again because he believes the federal government would have strict regulations concerning the housing and pay for such workers. The man said it is difficult to find large work crews willing to do sloop labor in the fields. Many who once did Hint work, he said, now get food stamps nud want to work only a few days each month in order to remain eligible for food stamps. HOPEFUL VIEW Some have said the bracero progivim might result in fewer illegal aliens coming into the United Slates. A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration nnd Naturalization Service said, however, that most of the 750,000 Mexican aliens apprehended in the United Slates last year were seeking, jobs in industry in the North and only occasionally sought farm work to help fi- nance (heir trips. "The trend is now towards industry and not farm work as it once was," he said. Jim Harrington, a lawyer for the United Farm Workers Union, said Iho union opposes such u program because it would mean more Joc^il unemployment and'would set back unionization of farm workers since it would f oe difficult to organize foreign workers. "It would mean an additional burden on Iho taxpayers if more local people were unemployed," Harrington said. A spokesman for the Brownsville diocese of the Roman Catholic Church said Bishop John J. Filzpati'ick does not actually oppose Ihe bracero program if the Mexican workers lire paid the minimum wage and if U.S. workers are hired first. Doctor Reprimanded For Advertising LITTLH;- ROCK CAP) -- m «iate Medical Board reprimanded Dr. Curtis E. Stover of Arkadelphia Friday for "sophisticated advertising" in giving an interview for newspaper articles which said he regularly gave abortions. The articles appeared in the Hot Springs New Era and the Hot Sprinigs Sentinel-Record under the byline of John Wallworth, who said he initiated contacts with Stover about the Interview. Stover told the board he did not want to grant the interview, but "took the easy way out -- I postponed him," but then agreed to meet with Waliworth only to try to talk him out of writing an article. Classes Dismissed After Disturbance ^LITTLE ROCK (AP) -Classes were dismissed Friday afternoon at North Little Hock Northeast High School after a disturbance between black students and white students. One white youth was sent to the hospital, but was reported not seriously injured, school 'authorities said. Principal James Smith discounted race as a factor in the disturbance. He said the trouble carried over from ill feelings that developed between »everal students following a pep rally Thursday. About 12 North Little Rock police units were dispatched to the scene. Police Chief W. D. Yotints also discounted any pos- fibility of racial motivation. He described the incidents as "just some kids having fistfights." Dairymen Complain SULPHUR SPRINGS, Tex. (AP) -- Texas Agriculture Commissioner John White says Washington, is to blame for problems dairymen here say are forcing them out of business. Ab»ut 2,500 persons--most of them dairymen and persons connected to the dairy industry--attended a mass rally in the city square Friday where White laid bare the role he says |overnir.;nt ha* taken in depressing the dairy Industry. OPEN DAILY 9-9 CLOSED SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY SPORTTOPS Nylon or cotton/ polyester knits in solids. Charge it. 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