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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 Reagan Administration's Proposals For Immigration Reform
Program #

Labor, Politics
Linda Fregoso
Jorge Bustamante, Leonel Castillo
Aug 1, 1981

The Reagan administration's proposals for immigration reform

Linda Fregoso speaks with Leonel Castillo, former director of the Immigration and Naturalization Services, and Dr. Jorge Bustamante, special counsel to the Mexican President on Immigration, about the Reagan Administration’s proposed immigration program. In 1981, the Reagan Administration proposed immigration reform that would offer amnesty for undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for more than ten years and delineated a temporary worker program. Castillo believes that while the proposal is certainly flawed, it is the best available and will offer legal status to millions of workers. Castillo also counters claims that these Mexican workers will take Chicano jobs by discussing the interconnectedness of the two economies and the jobs Mexican tourists create along the border. He also argues that critics of temporary worker programs overlook the ways in which undocumented immigration is a temporary worker program, but one that lacks the rules and regulations the government offers.

Bustamante then discusses his major complaints with the proposal. He explains that the government of Lopez Portillo wants the United States to recognize the true value of Mexican labor and protect the rights of Mexican workers. He argues that the immigration proposal will create a caste of workers who do not have full protection under the law. He suggests the government should let Mexican and U.S. labor unions propose an immigration policy that considers the needs of employers and workers.


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

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