From 1950 to 1952 Harry S Truman invested significant personal effort and political capital in an effort to improve the circumstances of migratory farm workers and to revise the Bracero Program with Mexico. To this end, Truman created the high profile President’s Commission on Migratory Labor in American agriculture in 1950. In its report, the commission recommended extending a variety of social legislation and economic protections to domestic farm labor, and it further recommended slowing or ending the importation of foreign, particularly Mexican, workers. The Truman administration energetically worked to convince Congress to act on those recommendations, even enlisting the support of the Mexican government. However, the power of growers’ interests and the conservative bloc in Congress halted any significant reform. Instead, the Bracero Program was further institutionalized in the form of Public Law 78 and remained in effect for more than a decade thereafter.

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