Alberto Garcia

Assistant Professor, HistoryAlberto Garcia

Current Research Activities

My research explores the Bracero Program, a bilateral initiative that allowed Mexican men to work in the U.S. as seasonal contract laborers between 1942 and 1964. I examine how the Mexican government recruited and selected guest workers, and what factors influenced individual decisions to migrate. I am currently drafting a book manuscript tentatively titled Abandoning Their Beloved Land: The Politics of Bracero Migration in Central Mexico.

What contributed to your research interests?

I became interested in my research topic because I am the grandson of a bracero and the son of formerly undocumented immigrants from Michoacán, the Mexican state that sent the second most braceros to the U.S.

How does your research relate to current issues?

Today, the Mexican immigrant community is the largest immigrant community in the U.S. Many members of the contemporary Mexican-origin community are the descendants of braceros who worked in the U.S. The bilateral agreement and the Bracero Program's goal of welcoming Mexican immigrant labor also contrast with contemporary American immigration policies that seek to unilaterally restrict the entry of Mexican immigrants. My research thus broadens our understanding of a significant immigrant community and the history of American immigration policies.

Other languages: Spanish