On January 28, 1948, a DC-3 plane carrying 32 persons, mostly Mexican farm laborers, including some from the bracero guest worker program, crashed in the Diablo Range, 20 miles west of Coalinga, California. The crash, which killed everyone aboard the plane, inspired the song "Deportee" by Woody Guthrie.
Some of the passengers were being returned to Mexico at the termination of their bracero contracts, while others were illegal immigrants being deported. Initial news reports listed only the pilot, first officer, and stewardess, with the remainder listed only as "deportees." Only 12 of the victims were initially identified. The Hispanic victims of the accident were placed in a mass grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno, California, with their grave marked only as "Mexican Nationals". - Wikipedia
The crops are all in and the peaches are rotting,
The oranges are piled in their creosote dumps;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexico border
To pay all their money just to wade back again
My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
they rode the trucks till they took down and died.
Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"
Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
It’s 600 miles to that Mexico border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.
We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes...
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.
The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning that shook all our hills,s
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"
Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil...
And to be called by no name except "deportees"?