May 27, 1963
Honorable Augustus F. Hawkins
Dear Mr. Hawkins:
I enclose a statement of the General Board of the National Council of Churches entitled, "Resolution Regarding the Future of the Mexican Agricultural Worker Importation Program (Public Law 78—82nd Congress)."
This Resolution, adopted in February, 1960, reflects the long experience of the National Council of Churches through its Ministry to Migrants. This led us to the conviction that the Mexican farm worker importation program, introduced as a war-time emergency measure and continued year after year long after the emergency had ceased, should be gradually eliminated during a specified phase-out period.
Since that time the widespread introduction of mechanization has resulted in an automatic phase-out process in which the number of braceros brought into the country has decreased each year. This fact, together with the widespread and increasing unemployment among both farm and other workers in this country, has reenforced the conviction that the importation program should not be again extended.
I am sending this to you for your information on a matter of public interest before the Congress at this time. We believe you will be interested to know of the principles relating to this issue adopted by this body of men and women from our churches and the accompanying brief statement of reasons therefore.
Cameron P. Hall