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Term Paper - Matt Deis Professor Pakanati POSC 311-010 2...

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Matt Deis Professor Pakanati POSC 311-010 2 December 2011 Un-Equal Partners in a Free Trade Market Most American citizens view the issue of illegal immigration as a completely one sided issue, in that the labor movement from Mexico to the United States has little to no negative effect south of the border; and if it does, the effects are of no matter to the lives of United States citizens. Increasing activity regarding maquiladora movement and participation in both Mexico and the United States’ economies stands as proof that the transfer of labor from Mexico into the United States has drastic effects, not just for the destination country of the laborers, but for their countries of origin as well. Due to requirements included within the North American Free Trade Agreement implemented in January of 1994, since the year 2001, formally designated maquiladora’s no longer technically exist under the eyes of domestic or international law. Yet, thousands of factories operating under extremely similar circumstances to previous maquiladora operations continue to serve key roles in the international trade market and thrive as vital assets in the economic, social and political relationship between the United States and Mexico. When discussions regarding illegal immigration erupt within the United States, often times the focus lays on the effects illegal immigrants have on the American job market. Especially in times of economic recession, issues relating to foreign affairs tend to turn away from how a country’s actions are affecting their neighbor’s well-being and tend to turn towards how that neighbor’s actions are affecting their own well-being. Arguments are often based on the premise that illegal immigrants residing within the United States, the majority of which originate from Mexico and Central America, seek higher waged employment within their destination countries leading to a decrease in employment availability for the native citizens of that country. It is also widely understood that the negative effects of illegal migrant infiltration run far deeper than the employment opportunities the migrants are being accused of taking away. Security threats, population increases and remittances are all factors that are compounded in the increasingly domestically focused minds of many United States citizens. What most of these disgruntled citizens do not realize is that many of the pull factors that are present for Mexican immigrants within the United States are only available because of the trade agreements held between the two countries. A great percentage of the large quantities of consumer products sold within the United States are only available because of their production in foreign countries such as Mexico. Lower class Mexican citizens whose domestic employment relies on American consumerism also fall into the trap of having their employment yield many of the same incentives for them to migrate to the United States. It is this web of reciprocal connections that
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