Mexican Workers in U.S. During WWII Entitled to Back Pay

Mexican laborers in a World War II-era guest-worker program can soon apply for money that was withheld from their paychecks and sent to the Mexican government.

Chicago attorney Matthew Piers said Wednesday that a San Francisco judge approved the preliminary deal last week.

Thousands of workers known as bracerostook agriculture and railroad jobs in the U.S. between 1942 and 1946 under agreements between both governments. Under the agreement, each bracero is eligible for about $3,500 from the Mexican government.

Former braceros based in the U.S., or their family members, can file claims starting next week at the Mexican Embassy or Mexican consulates.

Piers filed the lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of several former braceros who claim they were denied wages.