When you wander through the Salinas Valley today, if you go down a certain back highway, you will pass these gigantic wooden figures of happy farm workers picking heads of lettuce while their boss watches them work on the side of the road. As you drive through mile after mile of farmlands, you can see actual farm workers looking not so very happy as they labor in the hot sun. Our fruits and vegetables are picked by Mexican immigrants (both legal and "illegal") in much the same manner as they did more than 60 years ago when Woody wrote Deportees. I took this shot a few years ago, when I still lived on the Central Coast of California.
Woody heard a report on the radio in 1948 about the plane crash carrying Mexican farm workers who were being deported back to Mexico by U.S. Immigration authorities, and he wrote a timeless classic song about it. Recently, these nameless "deportees" were given names and a memorial nearby. For more, see the article here.
Here is a version I sang in honor of Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday at the last Woody Guthrie birthday bash at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC in 2012.