The northern mexican border
THE NORTHERN MEXICAN BORDER
The northern Mexican border is a narrow strip of land in a semi-arid area populated by towns that have their twin city on the American side. A globalized economy has led to the installation of large industrial plants called “Maquilas” that pay low Mexican wages (15 US$/day). This part of north Mexico is greatly influenced by trade with the USA causing massive immigration, mostly of women. These events have created what some call a “Third Nation”: a complex society with a highly sexualized work market caused by women flooding in for employment, altering the ways Mexican men and women relate to each other, and detonating a wave of violence. Mexico’s traditional social structure is distorted by new consumer values as well as the insufficient living conditions for the new influx of population.
The frontier is one of the most busiest borders, but while goods and finance circulate freely, the US government is stepping in to stop the passage of people and considers the illegal immigrant a criminal. Operation “Guardian” against illegal immigrants has created walled defences and increased vigilance by the border patrol. This drives the illegal immigrants to look for new routes by taking dangerous risks crossing the Arizona desert. Under the recent law, HR 4437, signed in Nov. 2006 against illegal immigration, the United States will construct a walled defence 1.200 km long and double the number of agents on border patrol. US politics rejects poor immigrants, but, at the same time, the American economy needs their manual labour and profits stemming from the immigrants’ low wages.