Miller Center

Immigration: Miller Center Recordings Project Captures LBJ Discussions on Immigration

The Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Project has transcribed two important conversations by President Lyndon Johnson on immigration policy. The first is a telephone conversation between Johnson and James Farmer, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality, held in February 1964. Congress had recently agreed to a one-year extension of the Bracero Agreement with Mexico, which allowed Mexican workers to work on U.S. farms. Farmer vociferously opposed the extension, arguing that the Agreement took jobs away from black workers. Click here to listen to the conversation.

In the second, an August 1965 discussion between Johnson and Florida Senator Spessard Holland, Johnson informs Holland of his decision to allow foreign workers to work in Florida's sugar farms during the upcoming harvest season. The move, requested by the Florida sugar industry, had been advocated by Holland. Johnson and Holland also discuss the need for foreign workers in the citrus industry. Holland says citrus companies "just can't get the Americans to do it," but Johnson says he has yet to receive a formal request from the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association for such workers. Click here to listen to the conversation.