Mexico to pay those who worked in U.S.

first_img On Thursday, the Interior Ministry announced the ground rules and amount of the payments. Offices will be set up in many of Mexico’s 31 states to process claims. Each former worker will have up to four months to claim his or her one-time payment, by submitting pay stubs, work visas, labor contracts or other supporting documents. Surviving spouses or children can collect the payment for former workers who have already died, by presenting the same documents. Priority will be given the oldest workers, and to those who worked in the United States between 1942 and 1946. The compensation movement was originally designed for migrants who participated in the guest-worker program between 1942 and 1949. About 10 percent of that group’s paychecks were withheld for savings and pension funds that were supposed to be paid in Mexico, as an incentive for migrants to return home. The money disappeared, and a government investigation found no trace of it. The compensation fund was subsequently expanded to include all those who worked under the program, which ran out in 1964. The Bracero program brought Mexicans to the United States as temporary workers – largely in agriculture – to fill a labor shortage originally created by World War II. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “They’re going to get angry because their little business deal is going to end, for those that are making a living off these organizations,” Gonzalez said. The leaders of Braceroproa – one of the more radical ex-bracero groups – pledged to challenge the payment plans in court. But Gutierrez warned them against further protests. “In this country, we don’t solve things through pressure or by surrounding the (Interior) Department,” Gutierrez told the government news agency Notimex. Earlier this year, Mexico’s Congress approved a $27 million fund to partially compensate the bracero workers; while it was viewed as a step forward, activists also complained that the rules governing the fund will block payments to many who should receive them. Activists and the increasingly elderly former workers have held marches, protests and even briefly seized the ranch of President Vicente Fox’s family in the central state of Guanajuato to demand compensation. MEXICO CITY – After decades of waiting and years of protests, former “bracero” guest workers who labored in the United States between 1942 and 1964 will get a one-time payment of about 38,000 pesos, equivalent to about $3,500, the government announced Thursday. The payment was described as “insulting” by activists who have mounted a years-long campaign on behalf of the aging former workers, some of whom had pension funds deducted from their paychecks but never saw the money. “This is very little, it’s insulting that they are offering so little,” said Rafael Garcia, a member of Braceroproa, a group that has pressed the workers’ demands. “We have always said the payment should be 100,000 pesos ($9,175), and not one peso less.” Assistant Interior Secretary Felipe Gonzalez brushed off those criticisms, and suggested that some activists were angry because they could no longer profit from representing the demands of the former braceros. last_img read more