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Bracero Program Images

Images of the Bracero Program in the USCIS History Library

The USCIS History Library holds several photographs of the Mexican Agricultural Labor Program, commonly called the “Bracero Program,” dating from 1951-1964. The photographs provide an interesting firsthand glimpse at how INS inspected and admitted Braceros on Mexican border.

Currently, only a few of the Bracero photographs are available digitally.  Others can be viewed in the library.  A bibliography of additional Bracero resources in the USCIS History Library collection is available from our online catalog.  Researchers interested in Bracero photos and textual resources may make a research appointment with the USCIS History Library.



Mexican Braceros, leaving a recruitment center in Mexico and heading to a reception center in U.S., wave goodbye to their families.


Braceros waiting in line for processing at the Rio Vista Reception Center, El Paso, Texas.


Braceros undergoing Customs inspection at Hidalgo, Texas in 1957.


Immigrant Inspector inspecting Braceros for admission, Hidalgo, Texas, 1957.


Border Patrol trainees taking fingerprints of Braceros at Rio Vista Reception Center, El Paso, Texas, 1952.


Bracero Program processing began with attachment of the Form I-100 (mica), photographs, and fingerprint card to Form ES-345 and referral to a typist.

INS employees Rogelio De La Rosa (left) and Richard Ruiz (right) provided forms and instructions.


Temporary clerks typed I-100(a) & (b) and fingerprint cards after obtaining necessary information from the applicant. All clerks were proficient in both English and Spanish.  Rio Vista Reception Center, El Paso, Texas.


Typed forms I-100(a) and (b) (micas) were then presented to clerks who stapled photographs to the cards.  Rio Vista Reception Center, El Paso, Texas.


After Customs, Agriculture, and Immigration inspection, and obtaining Bracero Program documentation, workers boarded transportation to the farm of their new employer.  Rio Vista Reception Center, El Paso, Texas.


New arrivals at a Bracero camp, Los Fresnos, TX, 1952.

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