A. Plants that assemble items from U.S. made parts for shipment back to the U.S.
B. Allows access to cheap labor with savings on import taxes
C. History and size
1. began operation in 1965 with 3000 workers
2. By 1984, 680 factories and 184,400 workers
3. In 1999, 1.12 million workers exporting $52 billion in goods to U.S.
4. Increased some in the 2000s, but due to pressure from other low wage countries and the 2008 recession has retuned to 1999 like numbers in 2012.
5. Constitutes about half of Mexico's exports to the U.S.
D. Main force in cross-border economics
E. Mostly employ young single women
1. Seen as more reliable and easily controlled
2. Many are younger daughters taking jobs for family health benefits
3. Many also come from other regions escaping abuse
4. Many have been victims of violent crime
F. Significant impact on cross-border culture
1. Maquiladora workers have spending cash
2. Cross the border to buy fashions seen on telenovelas
3. Many also cross border to buy groceries - cheaper in U.S. usually
4. Border towns increasingly dependent on cross-border trade
5. Drop in peso value can severely affect economy in U.S. border towns
II. Development in cross-border culture
A. Roots extend to Mexican-American War, but cross-border flow much greater now
1. On the U.S. side, much of the border land absorbed over time in to large ranches owned by Anglos, while the established Mexican-American population was generally deprived of land
2. On the Mexican side, the Mexican government, suspicious of the U.S encouraged migration and settlement, including East Europeans and Chinese, creating a diverse population.
B. Tens of thousands have papers allowing them to crossover regularly
C. Maids are important in this
1. Many illegal, but make 5 times maquiladora pay
2. In San Diego and El Paso, Mexican domestic help very common
D. Rise of more authentic Mexican restaurants and grocery stores a key development
1. Growing number of taquerias
2. Tortilla Wars - increasing competition between tortilla factories
3. Tortillas once home-made or local, now a major industry
4. Biggest tortilla factory in the world serves just East L.A.
5. General Mills sells Bunelitos in U.S. Southwest - a copy of a popular Mexican cereal
E. Sports an important factor
1. Baseball part of Mexican culture since early 20th century
2. U.S. players used to spend off season playing in Mexico
3. Fernando Valenzuela drew many Mexicans in mid-1980s to follow U.S. teams
4. Dallas Cowboys have become a favorite in Mexico
5. While more and more Americans are following Mexican soccer
III. Bi-lingual border culture
A. Over 150 years old
B. Border communities traditionally downplay cultural importance of border
C. Many small border communities have history of cross-border schools (now threatened)
D. Bi-lingual movie houses have a long presence
E. Border music increasingly popular - influences go both ways
F. Signs of division
1. English only campaigns have developed in some border states
2. California and Arizona banned bilingual education, while in 2002 the Federal government withdrew much of its support for bilingual education under No Chile Left Behind
3. Fears of cultural threat -- Arizona banned Mexican-American studies in 2012
4. Mexico on the other hand sees need to defend its citizens in the U.S.
5. Concerns over drugs and illegal immigration have led to in the last decade to a wall being built in several stretches and tighter border controls
G. Some Mexican border towns are becoming ghost towns
1. Young people go north for work
2. But often leave children with grandparents for fear of U.S. crime
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