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Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden W. Rensink, Texas A&M Press, 2018

Chapter 6, Note 79 (pages 140 and 254)

Similar Yaqui labor in the citrus and other agricultural industries would continue through most of the mid-twentieth century. (p. 140)

Chapter 6, Note 79 . . . for sources discussing the ubiquitous nature of Yaquis in Arizona labor markets. (p. 254)

Agricultural work provided employment for a large portion of Arizonan Yaquis during the mid-twentieth century.[1] Within years of their arrival, it became “common knowledge” among Arizonans that large numbers of Yaqui refugees were sneaking into the state to work in “citrus and cotton ranches” as well as mines.[2] By 1919, the Christian Science Monitor claimed that up to 2,000 Yaquis were employed in the cotton or other farm work in the Salt River Valley alone.[3]


[1] See “Three Regiments March out of Capital as Arizona Yaquis Cross Border to Join Rebels,” Arizona Daily Star, October 4, 1927; “Yaqui Indians Leave; Refuse Old Jobs Here,” Arizona Daily Star, October 10, 1927; “Yaqui Indians Given Right to Remain in United States,” Arizona Daily Star, September 27, 1931; “Passion Drama by Yaquis,” New York Times, April 5, 1936; “Indians Aided by Tucsonan,” Arizona Daily Star, October 67, 1940; “8 Injured, 1 Critically, in Truck Wreck,” Tucson Daily Citizen, July 5, 1943; “Yaquis Keep up Tribal Rites as Displaced Race,” Portsmouth Times (Ohio), September 12, 1946; and “Indians Have Fitting Tribal Customs to Modern Living,” Tucson Daily Citizen, February 23, 1950. For other accounts on Yaqui agricultural labor during the mid-twentieth century, see Laura L. Cummings, Pachucas and Pachucos in Tucson: Situated Border Lives (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2009), 67; Edward Spicer, Field Notes from Yuma, Somaton, June 7, 1940, Spicer Papers, ASM, Subgroup 8, Box 7, Folder 438; Spicer, People of Pascua, 34-43.

[2] H.B. Wharfiled, “A Fight With the Yaquis at Bear Valley, 1918,” Arizoniana (Fall, 1963): 2. Colonel Wharfield makes this observation to support the larger claim by 1918 Arizona Yaquis were using wages “to purchase firearms and ammunition, which they smuggled back into Mexico for their tribesman”: an unrelated, but interesting point.

[3] “The Remnants of the Yaqui Indians,” Christian Science Monitor, December 31, 1919, 3.