Effects on Immigration on Mexican Cities

Effects on Immigration on Mexican Cities

Effects on Immigration on Mexican Cities







Globalization has had its benefit across the globe such as propagation of economic opportunity, elevation of human rights, as well as easier access to information, technology, and goods for individuals across the globe. However, these benefits have come at a cost of sacrificing of regional cultural identity for Western ideals. Cultural globalization is one of the effects of globalization. It comes with its negatives and positives. In North American continent, the issue of immigration of Mexicans into the United States has been under discussion for a long time. The immigration has caused underdevelopment of some of the home cities of the Mexicans. This essay has explored the connection between immigration and underdevelopment of the cities in the northern part of Mexico. The essay argues that the labor force that is required to build the cities in Mexico has been drained into the American labor market. The buying power in the cities in Mexico has also been impacted because most of the people who go to the United States spend their money within the American cities. The paper also discusses the immigration reforms undertaken by the United States and the role of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in reducing the immigration problems.

Effects of Emigration of Mexicans into the United States

One major effect of the immigration of the Mexicans to the United States is the depopulation and impoverishment of the Mexicans towns and cities. This happens when a majority of Mexicans citizens migrate to the US in search of labor since the United States has sufficient labor (Stanley & Maxine, 2008). As a result, the Mexicans lose their culture. Culture is a dynamic force for change, with few citizens in Mexico to enhance change; the likelihood is the loss of culture and absorbing foreign culture.

Globalization has enhanced mass movement of many workers from Mexico into the United States labor markets. This has in effect caused social, economic and political changes in the home cities of the immigrants. The home cities are left with few citizens to build it. In most cases those who migrate fall in the category of the working population leaving the non-working population in the home city. As a result, the home city will rag behind in terms of development and growth. Globalization has made the production sector in the United States to expand its market. Labor requirements have increased due to the expansion of the market for United States products. The northern parts of Mexico supply the needed labor in the United States’ production and service sector. As a result, the northern parts of Mexico are suffering a brain drain by supplying its army of workers to the United States. This has deprived the cities in the northern part of the country the needed labor and market (Castles, 2002).

Castles (2002) observes that the negative effects of the global economy have and will continue to hit home cities of countries like Mexico. The author attributes this to the exclusion of such countries from the benefits of the mainstream global economy. What results, according to this posit, is deepening poverty, chaos and conflict. The culmination of the Cold War signified the end of the bipolar world and opened movement of citizens from one country to another, in search of new life opportunities and jobs. In 2008, an average of 500 000 Mexicans crossed the border to the United States. Cerrito del Agua is one of the towns that have been affected by the movement of Mexicans into the United States. The town has no paved roads; it has very few movie theatres, no shopping malls and restaurants. The fields surrounding this city are said to be dry and unattended. Most of the population in this town has immigrated to the United States to supply the needed labor. The types of services and amenities needed in the town of Cerrito del Agua cannot be offered because the human capital has moved to another country. Mexico is an exporter of human capital to the United States. The Mexican immigrants in the United States contribute to the economy of the country, at the expense of the growth of their home cities. The author explains that the migrants who are born in Mexico contribute to 8 % of the gross domestic product of the United States. This accounts for more than about $900 billion. The Mexican gross domestic product is less than the amount of money that her citizens contribute in the United States’ economy. Even as they contribute to the United States’ economy, the Mexicans still spend their money in the cities within the United States. The cities and towns north of Mexican continue to deteriorate. Some of the workers migrate into the United States with their family members. The result is as mentioned earlier where the population is reduced. Low population leads to the loss of their unique culture. In this case, most population tend to copy the culture of the United States where most of them live. On the other hand, the economy and culture of the United States tend to grow better (Castles & Wise, 2008).

Mize and Swords (2010) decry the Bracero program and NAFTA as some of the events which led to the draining of Mexican labor and the creation of the ghost towns in the northern part of Mexico. Between 1942 and 1964, in what seems to have been the early forms of globalization, the United States and the government of Mexico came up with a set of accords where the agricultural sector and the railroad industry were supplied with a steady stream of laborers from Mexico. 30 states participated in this program although the salient beneficiaries were Arizona, Texas and California. Within this period, a total of 2 million Braceros were employed in the agribusiness industry within the United States. This was the first phase of immigration that weakened the cities north of Mexico. The trend that was begun in the mid-20th century has continued and became part of the culture among Mexicans. While growing up in Mexico, smart children always have plans of going to work in United States. When all the qualified professionals leave their home cities to go to the United States, the cities begin to deteriorate. This is due to the lack of human capital, which can engage in prudent economic activities to spur growth.

Wage disparities between the labor market of Mexico and that of the United States have contributed to the deterioration of the home cities of the Mexican immigrants. By 2009, the hourly minimum wage labor rate in the United States was $7.25. In Mexico, the average daily labor rate was $ 5.00. This shows a huge discrepancy between the two economies. The Mexicans are able to offer cheap labor to the United States market. They leave their towns in large numbers to provide the cheap labor in the United States. Even though the labor is cheap according to the United States’ standards, the Mexicans find it desirable than that offered in the Mexican cities. As the home cities continue to deteriorate, they become even more unable to offer sustainable employment to the Mexicans (Mize & Swords, 2010). What happens is the loss of labor in the Mexican cities. Poverty in this case will be inevitable.


The United States’ and the Mexican governments have come up with joint policies aimed at reducing illegal immigration. A reduction of the illegal immigration cases may help revive the ghost cities in Mexico. The US and the Mexican government have agreed to cooperate and beef up security along the US-Mexican border. This helps to prevent illegal crossing points used by illegal immigrants from Mexico. As well, the United States, through NAFTA, helps Mexico to improve its economy. An improved economy is an incentive for the Mexicans to remain at home and build their cities. The recent move by the United States’ government proposes to add 700 miles of border fencing and increase the number of border patrol agents. In return, the immigration reform intends to legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants (Margret, 2014). The United States intends to use the reforms to discourage illegal immigration into its territory. Once the illegal immigration will have been prevented, the Mexicans will concentrate on building their home cities instead of going to the United States to look for jobs.


Castles, S. (2002). Migration and community formation under conditions of globalization. International migration review, 36(4), 1143-1168.

Castles, S., & Wise, R. D. (2008). Migration and development: Perspectives from the South. IOM International Organization for Migration.

Mize, R. L., & Swords, A. C. (2010). Consuming Mexican labor: from the Bracero Program to NAFTA. University of Toronto Press.

Stanley E & Maxine B Z. (2008). Globalization-The transformation of social world. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.