Border Incident

Narrator: here is
the all-American canal.

It runs through the desert
for miles

Along the California-Mexico

A monument
to the vision of man,

The canal is the life-Giving
artery of water

That feeds
the vast farm empire

Of the imperial valley
of southern California.

Out of this desert wasteland,
Man's industry has made
a flourishing garden.

Farming in imperial valley
is a great industry.

Here a single field
of prosaic carrots or lettuce

Or flax or melons may be worth
a half million dollars.

This great agricultural
empire is important to the entire United States.

Nature never waits.
When the crops are ready,
they must be harvested.

This means manpower,
a vast army of farm workers

Who must be available
when needed,

And this army of workers comes
from our neighbor to the south--

From Mexico--
For the imperial valley
of California,

Like many other farm areas
of the great southwest,

Is almost entirely dependent
on Mexican labor.

These workers prepare
the land and harvest the food for our tables.

And so all along the border,
from texas to California,

Mexican farm workers--
Braceros, they are called,

Meaning those who work
with their hands and arms--

Are waiting on the Mexican side
to be okayed,

To receive the coveted American
work permits or crossing cards.

Most of these braceros obey
the laws of both countries

And wait at the border to
enter the United States legally

Under the treaty
between the Mexican and American governments.

But there are other braceros
who come and go illegally,

Who jump the fence.
These Mexican illegal entrants
work in the United States for a while

And, upon returning to Mexico,
Are often robbed
of their savings by bandits who infest both sides of the border.

It is this problem of
human suffering and injustice about which you should know.