Former braceros to receive payment

FRESNO-- A 10-year battle for former braceros finally came to an end on Monday.

The Mexican Government Secretary published a list of former braceros and/or their beneficiaries who were approved for payment after they filed a long and complicated application at the Mexican Consulate offices in the United States. The money due to former braceros was part of the funds that were withdrawn from their paychecks and deposited into a bank account in México while they worked in the U.S. under the Bracero program from 1942 to 1964.

According to the Mexican government, more than 4 million dollars will be distributed in the next couple of months.

Monday's announcement was a long-awaited victory for Leonel Flores, director of Fresno's Unión de Ex Braceros e Inmigrantes.

"It's been many years and many people thought that this (payments) would never happen. Today, we realize that our hard work was worth it and thanks to our work and engagement to this cause, we were able to make this a priority for the Mexican government," said Flores before a group of about 50 former braceros, and the widows and children of deceased braceros.

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