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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    When the U.S. government tried to replaces migrant farm workers with students


    From the Archives: When the U.S. government tried to replaces migrant farm workers with students

    July 7, 1965 front page
    (The San Diego Union)

    JULY 7, 2020 8 AM

    In 1965 a federal program called Athletes in Temporary Employment as Agricultural Manpower, or “A-Team,” recruited American high school students in an effort to curb the U.S. reliance on immigrants as agricultural workers. Some 3,300 students went to work as domestic farm labor under the program in Arizona, California, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Michigan.

    Front page stories announced that local boys (they were all boys) were heading to the farms.

    Almost immediately some turned around and came back home. Student workers complained about the pay, food, living and working conditions, and the heat.

    Many local students did serve their full contracts in the summer of 1965.

    The A-Team experiment was not renewed.

    From The San Diego Union, Wednesday, July 7, 1965:

    S.D. Students Laid Off As Melon Pickers

    Twenty-eight student farm laborers from Marian High School in Imperial Beach have been laid off as melon pickers in Blythe. They are the first local students terminated before the end of their contract since the government A-team program started last month.

    They were given their walking papers Sunday as members of the so-called A-team which replaced Mexican bracero labor. The action triggered a three-way controversy.

    ‘SAT DOWN’

    Jake Caylan, owner fo the 500-acre High and Mighty melon farm, where the boys were employed, said they were laid off because “they sat down and decided it was too hot to work any more.”

    Gerald Smith, state farm labor placement office manager in Blythe, said it was because Caylan is “still burned up at the law banning braceros.” He accused Caylan of wanting to get out of paying the bonuses the boys would have received by fulfilling their contracts.

    Caylan said it is “more than likely” that he will pay the Marian High boys the five-cent-a-crate bonus due them at the end of their work period, along with a 10-cent-a-crate bonus given each payday.


    Jan Chapman, the boys’ faculty supervisor, said Caylan “had something against San Diego” and “whoever he (Caylan) had come across at that moment would have been bounced. We just happened to be it.”

    A-team stands for athletes in temporary employment as agricultural manpower.

    The 28 who were among 119 San Diego County boys picking melons in the Palo Verde Valley under the program, were earning $1.40 an hour minimum wage and averaging a 14-hour day.

    Smith said other local A-team workers, from University, Hilltop and Helix high schools are “either still working or have completed their commitment.”


    He said the Marian High boys “were doing a fairly successful job.”

    Smith said he had told all of the boys to file complaints under the labor law for their bonuses, back pay “and anything else I could think of.”


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Low Risk Prison Work Program.

    Let them work off their time. Put the pay in escrow account. Many have child support to pay.

    Make them work, not release them back into the community and NOT serve their time.

    Our court system is now a revolving door, walk in the front, and get shoved out the back with a slap on the wrist.


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