cluded in this labor pool. At first, immigrants and their children were brought in by truckloads from the cities. For example, Italian immigrants worked on New Jersey cranberry farms:
Since children and women can work efficiently in berry picking and vegetable cultivation, Italians made the family ''the working unit,"... There are women and children in swarms[;] old, young and middle-aged are found in every field (The Dillingham Commission, 1911, quoted in Hahamovitch, 1997:31).
When workers began to request better wages, the growers preferred to use displaced African American plantation workers from the South. Most of these workers brought their children along because there was no place to leave them, and they could assist their parents in picking berries and weeding the fields. The only groups who did not bring their children were the foreign workers contracted for by the U.S. government. This included workers from Jamaica, Haiti, and other places in the Caribbean. The formal contracts called for specific numbers of males or females, and children were not included.
The use of migrant seasonal workers was not limited to the East Coast. In the early 1900s, midwestern farms first attracted migrant seasonal workers from such cities as Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit (Slesinger and Muirragui, 1981). California farmers met their early need for farmworkers through waves of immigrants: Chinese in the 1880s, Japanese in the early 1900s, Mexicans and Filipinos after World War I, and Mexicans again during World War II (Martin, 1988:5). After World War II, cities offered good wages and steady work in the factories, which not only reduced the pool of available farmworkers, but also prompted rural workers to move to the city. Urged by the agricultural industry to relieve the resulting shortage by importing workers, the federal government stepped in. One well-known example was the Labor Importation Program (Bracero Program), which permitted Mexican nationals to seek agricultural work in the United States from 1941 to 1964. Since that time, even without a program, there has been a steady influx of workers from Mexico and other Latin American countries into the agricultural fields of the United States. Many of these migrant workers bring their families with them, and their children continue to be brought to the fields to work. Data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey indicate that 28 percent of hired farmworkers have