Ashley Balderas Gonzalez

Western Carolina University


Ashley Balderas Gonzalez is a sophomore at Western Carolina University, where she attends the Brinson Honors College. She is working toward a degree in political science with a minor in Latinx studies. She is originally from Bessemer City, North Carolina. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and work as an immigration paralegal.


Where Human Rights and Civil Rights Meet: Latinx Immigration and Labor

In this presentation, I will examine labor issues for immigrants in the United States, particularly the Bracero program and its inherent violations of human and civil rights for the millions of farm workers that it brought across the U.S.-Mexico border. I will demonstrate the unjust treatment of these workers by contrasting their circumstances with those of workers with other types of documentation. Further, I will show how this program contributed to what journalist Juan Gonzalez identified in Harvest of Empire as the "Latinization of the United States" as a direct result of U.S. economic policies resulting in regional cultural expansionism.