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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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The Chicano Worker
Program #

Alejandro Saenz
Vernon Briggs
Apr 26, 1977

The Chicano Worker

Professor Vernon Briggs discusses some of the policy implications that follow from his research on The Chicano Worker. One of the biggest obstacles he faced was how to define the Chicano worker because throughout much of the 20th century, the census used various identifiers for Latinos. Culling the data for people who were Spanish surnamed or Spanish language, he found that Chicanos make up a formidable percentage of the southwestern labor force. He explains that because of the high fertility rates and the constant stream of immigration, Spanish surnamed or Spanish language people will soon become the largest minority group in the United States. However, Briggs believes that the stream of undocumented workers negatively impacts Chicanos and other workers because the increased labor supply results in depressed wages and provides a steady pool of potential strikebreakers. Moreover, the industrial structure as well as discrimination has contributed to the low-income levels Chicanos report. Briggs does cite several programs that address some of the needs of Chicano Workers, including bilingual instruction, affirmative action programs and even immigration control. Consequently, he believes the future looks bright for Chicanos and explains that as they earn higher wages they will become more politically active and astute, and the political system, in turn, will become more attentive.


Affirmative Action
Anglicized names
Bilingual Education
Census Categories
Chicano Fertility Rate
Chicano Political Participation
Data collection
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Ethnic Groups
Future of Chicanos
Illegal Immigration
Immigration Policy
Impact of Undocumented Labor
Labor Force in the Southwest
Legal Immigration
Mexican Heritage
Mexican Origin
Operation SER
Shadow labor force
Southwestern States
Spanish Americans
Spanish Language
Spanish Surnamed
Supply and demand
The Chicano Worker
The Southwest
Undocumented workers
UT Press
Vernon Briggs

Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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