Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

The big debate: Former bracero’s back pay

‘Actually, this may not be too different (from) the situation with Social Security here in the U.S. I don’t expect to receive a fraction of what I put in, if even that.’ Jim N.

The story: Former bracero Antonio Olivares Samaniego, 79, wants to get his back pay from the Mexican government, but can’t because he doesn’t have pay stubs or other 50-year-old documentation.

Your take: 2009 starts the way 2008 ended, with plenty of Mexican-bashing. (“I just love hearing ‘white folks’ duking it out over the Internet,” speedwayswanguy says.)

But if you weed out the quasi- racism, you’ll find compassion, or at least a little thoughtfulness, in the Citizen’s online commentary about Olivares’ predicament. Some examples:

• “To say that . . . farmworkers, braceros, and other workers ‘don’t know what hard work is’ has to be a big hurt. I work hard. Many Americans work hard. The Mexican braceros also worked long and hard.” – justtruth

• “Señor Samaniego, your hard work of 50 years in my country is very much appreciated and I thank you.” – nlf007

• “If Americans are hiring illegals, what does that make white people? Accomplices.” – SoCalMexLMC


For Wednesday, Dec. 31

1 Parents of 18 (14 adopted) undaunted by house fire.

2 Lack of 50-year-old stubs keeps braceros from back pay.

3 Tucsonan who survived Holocaust knew concentration camp love story was a lie.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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