The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl (a period of drought that destroyed millions of acres of farmland) forced white farmers to sell their farms and become migrant workers who traveled from farm to farm to pick fruit and other crops at starvation wages.
Where did migrant workers come from?
An estimated 14 million foreign workers live in the United States, which draws most of its immigrants from Mexico, including 4 or 5 million undocumented workers. It is estimated that around 5 million foreign workers live in Northwestern Europe, half a million in Japan, and around 5 million in Saudi Arabia.
Why did migrant workers move to California in 1930?
Migration Out of the Plains during the Depression. During the Dust Bowl years, the weather destroyed nearly all the crops farmers tried to grow on the Great Plains. … Many once-proud farmers packed up their families and moved to California hoping to find work as day laborers on huge farms.
What was life like in California in the 1930s?
California was hit hard by the economic collapse of the 1930s. Businesses failed, workers lost their jobs, and families fell into poverty. While the political response to the depression often was confused and ineffective, social messiahs offered alluring panaceas promising relief and recovery.
How many people migrated to California in the 1930s?
The exact number of Dust Bowl refugees remains a matter of controversy, but by some estimates, as many as 400,000 migrants headed west to California during the 1930s, according to Christy Gavin and Garth Milam, writing in California State University, Bakersfield’s Dust Bowl Migration Archives.
What percentage of field workers are Mexican?
Demographic Characteristics of Hired Farmworkers
|Item||Farm laborers, graders and sorters||All U.S. private wage and salary workers|
|Percent Hispanic: Mexican origin||57||12|
|Percent Hispanic: Other||7||8|
|Percent born in U.S. (includes Puerto Rico)||44||80|
|Percent U.S. citizens||53||90|
How many hours do migrant workers work?
USDA’s Agricultural Labor Survey and the NAWS suggest that most California farm workers are employed between 43 and 45 hours a week. Three types of workers, livestock (dairy) workers, irrigators, and equipment operators, often work more than 40 hours a week, with some regularly exceeding 60 hours.