BUY PRINT    February 1939. "White mother with children at migrant camp. Weslaco, Texas." Background for this series of photos as recorded by Russell Lee in his notes: "Local employment men say that there was no need for migrant labor to handle the citrus and vegetable crops in the valley, the local supply of labor being ample for this purpose. Most of the local labor is Mexican and the labor contractors favor Mexican labor over white labor, partly because the Mexican will work much cheaper than whites. One white woman who was a permanent resident said that the white people who lived in the valley had no trouble with the Mexicans. The Mexicans were good neighbors, she said, always willing to share what they had. She said the white migrants who came into the valley and resented and misunderstood the Mexicans caused the trouble between the two races. Some towns in this section permit camping only in trailers. The charge for camping in tents is about fifty cents per week, including water, which in some cases must be carried four city blocks. Privies are tin, very bad condition. Garbage is collected only once a week, with large dumps of decaying fruits and vegetables scattered among the camps. Some of the white migrants in this camp were very suspicious of governmental activity, due to the use by south Texas newspapers of the term 'concentration camps' referring to Farm Security Administration camps." Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the FSA. | Click image for Comments. | Home | Browse All Photos