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A Bracero's Identification Card Certifies He Is Ready to Work

Aaron Castañeda Gamez and thousands of other Mexican workers had to pass a series of examinations to enter the bracero program. Recruits reported to centers in Mexico where they were inspected for lice and disease. Braceros' hands were inspected to see if they had calluses, indicating they were familiar with manual labor. They were told to disrobe and were then sprayed with the pesticide DDT. The processing stage lasted for several days, most of which were spent standing in line. Finally, if the man passed all the exams, he was given an identification card that certified his acceptance in the program. This card notes that Castañeda was to perform "railroad track labor only" and, like all braceros, was exempt from the wartime requirement of registering for the draft.

Source | Aaron Castañeda Gamez, "Identification Card," 10 April 1944, in Bracero History Archive, Item #512, (accessed 21 January 2010).
Creator | Unknown
Item Type | Artifact
Cite This document | Unknown, “A Bracero's Identification Card Certifies He Is Ready to Work,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 24, 2023,

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