Why NAFTA Has Not Improved the Mexican Economy or Lessened Immigration of Undocumented Mexicans to the U.S.?

The ‘traditional’ modernization theory claims that nations progress through similar stages of development where today’s developing countries are now in a similar economic situation as once was experienced by the modern industrial giants. Following this logic, through the common path of development of closer integration, economic interdependence and various investments, the developed can help the underdeveloped nations to achieve prosperity.

It should be remembered, however, that Latin American development experience drastically differed from the development experiences of the Western European countries due to “the absence of feudal experience, absence of religious non-conformity, absence of a specific period of industrial revolution, and absence of the ideological currents associated with the French Revolution.”[1]

Thus, it should be safe to say that the modernization theory of development cannot be applied to the Latin American countries.

Indeed, it can be seen from contemporary U.S.-Mexico relations that economic interdependence, personified by NAFTA to supposedly improve the Mexican economy, is deliberately worsening the Mexican state of affairs.

This paradox can be explained by the Latin American dependency theory, which claims that the developing state arises not simply because of its unwillingness to pursue the common path of development but is “the result of specifically designed policies for those societies whose growth and development is likely to hurt, in the long run, the interests of economically powerful countries.”[2]

Introduction

The image portrays planet Earth and many people walking in different directions on top of it, thus illustrating different migration patterns.
Credits: NewScientist.

This article analyzes the migration dynamics in both Mexico and the U.S. to argue that the U.S. economy strongly benefits from Mexican immigration and that NAFTA is used as a tool by the American government to enrich itself at the expense of the dependent Mexican economy, which in turn encourages even more emigration beneficial to the U.S.

In fact, Mexican immigration to the U.S., despite the popular beliefs, is extremely beneficial to the American economy, since by accepting any available work, immigrants “fill voids in an economy whose health thrives with their presence.”[3]

Moreover, the free trade agreement not only opens Mexican markets to American exports, but also allows Americans to invest and build their own corporations on Mexican soil, where the environmental, work and safety standards are not strictly enforced.

Therefore, it is simply not profitable for the U.S. to have an economically independent  Mexico, since the extraction of resources from a more developed country would be more expensive and the subsequent reduced immigration would not satisfy the American demand for both low- and high-skilled employees.

The Causes of Migration

The demand and supply factors as well as interactions between them (the ‘push-pull’ theories) provide a general framework for analyzing the migration dynamics, as “migration does not occur randomly.”[4]

A photo of a ruined and flattened four-story building after the Puebla Earthquake that took place on September 20, 2017 in central Mexico.
Aerial view of a flattened building in Mexico City taken on September 20, 2017- a day after a strong quake hit central Mexico. A powerful 7.1 earthquake shook Mexico City on Tuesday. Its epicenter was about 55 km (34 mi) south of the city of Puebla. The earthquake caused damage in the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos and in the Greater Mexico City area. As a result of the earthquake, 370 people were killed, 228 buildings collapsed  in Mexico City alone, and more than 6,000 people were injured. The quake coincidentally occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which killed around 10,000 people.
Credits: SFGATE.

The ‘push’ category is the circumstances that force desperate people to run from their homes in hopes of finding a better future in another country.

Such circumstances range from:

  • natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, etc., that leave locals with no place to live while their governments are unable to provide for their accommodation and well-being;
  • unstable domestic situations, such as civil wars that put lives in danger;
  • authoritarian regimes that infringe on basic human rights and working conditions of the populace, to
The graph depicts total fertility rates in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico from 1960 to 2015. It portrays that Mexican fertility rates have dropped significantly from 7 births per woman in 1960s to around 2 births per woman since 2005. However, it is still clear that Mexican fertility rates are a bit higher than both Canadian and American ones. .
The graph of total fertility rates in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, 1960-2015.
Credits: CSIS.
  • surplus of labor within the country that creates high unemployment,
    • For instance, the Mexican high population growth rate ‘pushes’ the abundant supply of Mexican workers to immigrate into the U.S., which has both structural and conjunctural demand for immigrant workers.
      • In fact, while the U.S. created 15 million new jobs between 1993 and 2000,[5] the aging of the American population will place economic stress on smaller numbers of younger workers, since the commonly accepted necessary birth rate of 2.1 children per woman to replace the current population has not been reached by the U.S. since 2007.[6]
    • Despite the fact that the Mexican population’s annual growth rate has significantly slowed down (the 1.3 percent annual growth rate in 2017 as opposed to the 2.0 percent in 1990[7]), it is still much higher than the U.S.’s 0.7 percent in 2017,[8] thus prompting the demand for Mexican workers in the United States.
  • and bleak job prospects for well-educated youth that seek better opportunities abroad.
The graph depicts the increase in real GDP per capita in the United States, Canada, and Mexico from 1975 to 2011. It portrays that Mexico does not just have significantly lower GDP per se, but has also lacked any major increases in its GDP compared to its northern neighbours.
The graph of the increase in real GDP per capita in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, 1975-2011.
Credits: ResearchGate.

The ‘pull’ factors are located in the destination countries and are those that attract desperate people.

The image portrays the outgoing remittances from the U.S. to other countries. It highlights that "migrants working in the United States sent a staggering $138 billion back to their families last year". Notably, Mexico receives the largest amount of remittances, which is $28.1B..
Credits: howmuch.
  • Commonly, the ‘pull’ factor is a generalized idea of opportunity (new lives and more money).
    • For example, the enormous difference in GDP per capita ‘pulls’ Mexicans to the U.S. in hopes of achieving better living opportunities.
      • In fact, in 1992 the Mexican “per capita GDP was between one-sixth and one-seventh that of the United States- $3,600 compared to $23,400.”[9]
  • Moreover, the Mexican government is fully aware of the crucial economic value of the remittances sent by immigrants in the U.S. to their families in Mexico, which in 2015 constituted almost $25 billion, or more than a nation’s oil revenues[10].

The Benefits of Mexican Immigration for the U.S.

Despite the popular belief that immigration to the U.S. constitutes a burden to the national economy, exacerbated by the speeches of the former U.S. President Donald Trump, who “singled out Mexico and Mexican workers with or without authorization as the source of a host of U.S. immigration ills,”[11]attributing rape, criminality and drugs to Mexican immigrants, it is not true.

In fact, uncontrolled (illegal) immigration to the U.S. has not always created major disadvantages.

  • Historically, Mexicans were a more preferred labor force than other ‘inferior’ ethnic groups such as Puerto Ricans or Blacks, since Mexicans were not American citizens and they would annually return to Mexico to visit their families.
  • Moreover, this ‘bird of passage’, “unlike the American or Porto Rican negro, could be deported if it became necessary.”[12]
The photo portrays five migrant workers harvesting weed rows of tobacco in eastern North Carolina.
Migrant workers harvest weed rows of tobacco in eastern North Carolina. Often, pickers are paid by the bin instead of by the hour.
Credits: modern farmer.
  • Most importantly, U.S. employers have always benefitted from the unorganized cheap labor force.
    • It should be of no surprise, thus, that out of approximately one million farm workers in the U.S., 60 percent constitute unauthorized immigrants.[13]
    • Similar trends also persist in other low-paid industries such as construction, meat packing and domestic services.
The image portrays a running brain that holds luggage in one hand and a passport with a visa in it in another.
Credits: Daily Kos.
  • At the other end of the skills spectrum, the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon allows thousands of young educated Mexican people to work in American high-tech and health care industries.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce “argued that immigration is crucial to the survival of American business and agriculture simply because it provides workers when shortages appear.”[14]

It is estimated that the costs of losing 40-80,000 immigrants for the U.S. are $1.2-5.8 billion in lost earnings, and $57-264 billion in lost income and tax revenues.[15]

Main Misconceptions about Mexican Immigration

Now, to clear any further doubts about the benefits of Mexican immigration to the U.S., I believe it is important to highlight and debunk three main misconceptions surrounding this phenomenon.

Generally, there exist three typical misconceptions about Mexican immigrants.

  • The first is that immigrants compete with Americans for jobs or even ‘steal’ positions that could have been filled by locals, creating more unemployment among the latter.
    • This misconception has always created an anti-immigration sentiment within the general populace. Historically, this discord encouraged racial discriminations as “a shorthand through which to construct Mexicans as inferior”[16] in order to stimulate support for the promotion of quotas on Mexican immigration.
    • This argument is wrong since it considers employment to be a zero-sum phenomenon, in which there is a fixated amount of jobs and when an immigrant takes one job, it is necessarily lost to a national.
      • Labor dynamics, however, works differently, since in a broad occupational spectrum, such as agriculture and service, immigrants and native citizens are almost never interchangeable because they rarely compete for the same jobs.
    • Most immigrants only compete with other immigrants for low-level jobs, and at times when the economic recession reduces employment opportunities, the rate of immigrants who return back home increases.
    • In fact, despite constant claims that American jobs are being ‘stolen’ by immigrants, almost all studies agree that such competition rarely exists.[17]
The image portrays two construction workers, one is titled 'legal' and the other one is 'illegal'. The illegal worker is portrayed stealing money from the back pocket of the 'legal' worker. .
Credits: The Economist.
  • The second misconception is that immigrants depress the wages of nationals by their agreement to work for lower pay.
    • However, since much of the immigrant work is not that desired by Americans in the first place, when immigrants compete with each other, any change is only limited to their wages and the wages of the American minority of unskilled workers.
    • Meanwhile, the higher-skilled jobs necessitate the appropriate level of education which subsequently determines the income and it should not discriminate on the grounds of ethnicity or citizenship status. Also, since Mexicans at all education levels only comprise 4 percent of the American workforce,[18] it would be hard to label them as its threat.
  • The third misconception involves the belief that immigrants strain distributions of unemployment insurance and local resources such as schools and health care services.
    • Despite the fact that immigrants usually have higher unemployment rates, the differences in the unemployment rate of Americans are “neither consistent nor large.”[19]
    • The real costs of accommodation related to public services, schools and hospitals, on the other hand, need to be estimated in connection to the economic benefits paid in taxes spent at home and the increased productivity by the labor force.
    • It is estimated that immigrants’ children born in the U.S. tend to have higher incomes, college degrees and more stable jobs, as compared to their parents, and this fact makes them much more economically stable.[20]
      • Thus, since ‘the second generation Americans’ are as motivated as nationals (and sometimes even more), it is clear that they largely contribute to American economic growth, since they expand the economy’s productive capacity and promote more specialization that increases productivity in the long-run, thus making immigrants a “positive and necessary force for prosperity in the United States.”[21]

It can be claimed that the U.S. government does not really care about the illegal Mexican immigration as long as it provides the U.S. with abundant cheap labor and opportunities to invest and build new corporations in Mexico, where human rights are not as protected, and environmental, work and safety standards are not as strictly enforced by the local government. This leads to the flow of resources from the Mexican ‘periphery’ to the American ‘core’, thus stimulating the enrichment of the latter at the expense of the former.

One example of this was NAFTA’s agricultural policy.

NAFTA removed tariffs on agricultural goods and when the 2008 longest transition period (a steady increase of import quota) was ended for Mexican producers’ most important crop corn, the subsidized U.S. production with higher average productivity levels and artificially low prices naturally left many Mexican farmers without their profits. It is estimated that around three million local producers in Mexico have lost their jobs.[22]

This led to a 19 percent (about 2 million jobs) drop in agricultural employment[23] and to the surplus of workers who immigrated to the U.S. in search for work and who subsequently sent remittances, upon which the Mexican government has become extremely dependent. It also led to, by 2010, approximately 53 million Mexicans living in poverty (about 20 percent of whom are in extreme poverty), mainly in rural areas.[24]

The photograph portrays two American H-2A visas of Mexican agricultural employees.
American agricultural employers must secure H-2A visas before importing seasonal workers, often through private labor contractors, a set-up that almost guarantees abuse. “An H-2A visa allows a foreign national worker to enter the United States for temporary agricultural work. There are several requirements of the employer in regard to this visa. The H-2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. In 2015 there were approximately 140,000 total temporary agricultural workers under this visa program. Terms of work can be as short as a month or two or as long as 10 months in most cases, although there are some special procedures that allow workers to stay longer than 10 months. All of these workers are covered by U.S. wage laws, workers’ compensation and other standards; additionally, temporary workers and their employers are subject to employer and/or individual mandates under the Affordable Care Act. Because of concern that guest workers might be unfairly exploited, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division is especially vigilant in auditing and inspecting H-2A employers. H-2A employers are the only group of employers who are required to pay inbound and outbound transportation, free housing, and provide meals for their workers. H-2A agricultural employers are among the most heavily regulated and monitored employers in the United States. Unlike other guest worker programs, there is no cap on the number of H-2A visas allocated each year.”(Wikipedia).
Credits: modern farmer.

Here, I find it necessary to emphasize again that American farms heavily rely on both documented and undocumented Mexican workers (mainly to keep their costs lower).[25] Beginning in 1986, various types of ‘guest worker’ visas have been created, including the agricultural H2-A visa, notoriously known as a program being “close to slavery.”[26] Under this program American employers do not have to pay the social cost- that is, the schools, health care and housing- of producing their workforce. In the last decade the number of H2-A workers recruited by the U.S. has increased from around 60,000 to almost 200,000 workers, which constitutes 10 percent of the whole American farm labor workforce.[27]

It should not thus come as a surprise that in recent years American farmers became one of the most powerful lobbying groups for less strict immigration policies to safeguard their pipeline of cheap labor.[28]

The Dependency Theory and NAFTA

The image explains the concept behind the dependency theory, where the countries situated on both periphery and semi-periphery send their resources to the core, that is developed countries, which in turn sell their goods to them and in this way enrich themselves. ,
“Dependency theory is the notion that resources flow from a “periphery” of poor and underdeveloped states to a “core” of wealthy states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former. It is a central contention of dependency theory that poor states are impoverished and rich ones enriched by the way poor states are integrated into the “world system”. This theory was officially developed in the late 1960s following World War II, as scholars searched for the root issue in the lack of development in Latin America. The theory arose as a reaction to modernization theory, an earlier theory of development which held that all societies progress through similar stages of development, that today’s underdeveloped areas are thus in a similar situation to that of today’s developed areas at some time in the past, and that, therefore, the task of helping the underdeveloped areas out of poverty is to accelerate them along this supposed common path of development, by various means such as investment, technology transfers, and closer integration into the world market. Dependency theory rejected this view, arguing that underdeveloped countries are not merely primitive versions of developed countries, but have unique features and structures of their own; and, importantly, are in the situation of being the weaker members in a world market economy.”(Wikipedia).
Credits: Theories of Development.

It can be argued that it was not in American interests to safeguard Mexican economic and political stability and that NAFTA was used as a tool to increase Mexican dependency on the U.S. economy in order for the latter to enrich itself.

This is the case to which the classic dependency theory applies.

The image of the logo of the NAFTA Secretariat, which depicts a combined Mexican, American and Canadian flag.
The Logo of the NAFTA Secretariat. “The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States that created a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994, and superseded the 1988 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada. The NAFTA trade bloc formed one of the largest trade blocs in the world by gross domestic product. The impetus for a North American free trade zone began with U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who made the idea part of his 1980 presidential campaign. After the signing of the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement in 1988, the administrations of U.S. president George H. W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney agreed to negotiate what became NAFTA. All three countries ratified NAFTA in 1993 after the addition of two side agreements, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). Passage of NAFTA resulted in the elimination or reduction of barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The effects of the agreement regarding issues such as employment, the environment, and economic growth have been the subject of political disputes. Most economic analyses indicated that NAFTA was beneficial to the North American economies and the average citizen,but harmed a small minority of workers in industries exposed to trade competition. After U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he sought to replace NAFTA with a new agreement, beginning negotiations with Canada and Mexico. In September 2018, the United States, Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement to replace NAFTA with the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and all three countries had ratified it by March 2020. NAFTA remained in force until USMCA was implemented.In April 2020, Canada and Mexico notified the U.S. that they were ready to implement the agreement. The USMCA took effect on July 1, 2020, replacing NAFTA. The new law involved only small changes.”
Credits: Wikipedia.

Signed in 1992 between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, NAFTA was not really about trade. Essentially, it was an agreement “to allow market penetration and investment, the relocation of production and the creation of supply chains in manufacturing.”[29] This was the first trade agreement to merge two rich economies- Canada and the U.S.- with a poor Mexican one.[30] It is important to remember though that in negotiations like this the balance of power is always with the richer countries, international corporations and elites, that is why it should come as no surprise that free trade personified by NAFTA is not as free as it was initially presented.[31]

The U.S. created a loophole (eased by trade liberalization and geographic proximity), where a weak and dependent Mexican economy would generate more emigration and allow for more resource extraction, which in turn would weaken its economy even more and lead to even more emigration and resource depletion.

On paper, NAFTA was meant to increase American exports, create jobs and promote economic stability in three member states.

For Mexico, the trade agreement was a chance to access a greater consumer market, higher wages for Mexican employees, a regulatory environment that would have stimulated larger foreign direct investment (FDI).[32] Notably, NAFTA was believed to help to resolve immigration disputes with the U.S. by creating enough jobs to induce Mexicans to stay at home.[33] It was argued that Mexican political and economic stability would be caused by the gradual convergence with the U.S. in wages and living standards, and in the long run this should have substituted the mobility of the labor force by the free movement of goods and capital.

In fact, “the volume of migration is inversely proportionate to the strength of the Mexican economy”[34], since the economically stable country has higher wages and better employment opportunities which in turn reduce the incentive to emigrate.

However, it can be seen that NAFTA has not produced any convergence at all, since in 1993 the per capita production in Mexico was 14.3 percent of U.S. production and by 2006 it contracted even further to 13 percent. The wage differential between the countries has also grown: while in 1975 the average Mexican wage was 23 percent of the U.S. manufacturing wage, by 2002, it has fallen to less than 12 percent.[35] Moreover, in the 20 years after NAFTA went into effect, the buying power of the Mexican minimum wage plunged by 24 percent.[36]

Indeed, NAFTA, despite foreshadowing a brighter future, did not improve the Mexican economy, as Mexico’s poverty rate in 2014 was higher than the 1994 poverty rate, real wages were almost the same in 2014 as in 1994, and the unemployment rates have increased by 0.7 percent since 1990-94.[37]

Moreover, trumped by economic and corporate interests, no major environmental regulations (which were also part of NAFTA) were enforced in Mexico, as “from 1985 to 1999, solid waste production in Mexico grew by 108 percent, water pollution by 29 percent and urban air pollution by 97 percent.”[38]

Mexico would most likely be far better off without NAFTA, since in the absence of any war or major natural disaster, and including the fact that from 1960- 1980 Mexico’s growth rate was the highest in Latin America, it ranks humiliating 15th of 20 Latin American countries in real GDP growth per person from 1996 to 2016.[39]

Naturally, the poor performance of the Mexican economy led to the immigration surge by 79 percent to the U.S. from 1994 to 2000.[40] While it is true that emigration from Mexico to the U.S. existed long before NAFTA, “the treaty put migration on steroids.”[41] It is estimated that around 1.3 million Mexicans have been forced to emigrate since NAFTA came into effect.

It has been argued that if NAFTA had successfully restored Mexico’s pre-1980 growth rate, it would be a developed country now, and few Mexicans would be willing to leave the prosperous nation with prestigious job opportunities.

However, it was (and still is) very hard to achieve since Mexico is increasingly tied to the U.S. economy, where “over two-thirds of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S.”[42], thus, every American economic crisis or recession hits hard the Mexican economy as well.

For instance, during the 2008 U.S. Great Recession, the Mexican economy experienced a drop of 6.7 percent of GDP.[43]

Conclusion

This mislead aforementioned belief that immigrants represent an existential threat to Americans led Trump to proclaim that NAFTA “is the worst economic development deal ever signed in the history of [the U.S.]”[44] and to threaten to unilaterally revoke it.

However, “the axiom that new labor gravitates to areas of demand, consistently trumps laws that aim to limit the supply of workers.”[45]As long as there is an American high demand for low-level jobs that ‘pulls’ desperate Mexican immigrants, ‘pushed’ out of their country by the drastically lower wages and oversupply of labor, there would exist some mechanisms, such as trade liberalization personified by NAFTA, which would prevent Mexican economic growth and would continue supplying the U.S. employers with the cheap labor.

It is true that Mexico would economically fare much better today had it not signed the NAFTA agreement. However, the drastic unilateral decision of withdrawal from NAFTA would be very hurtful for Mexico precisely due to its extreme dependence on the U.S. economy and because “Mexican leaders had spent a quarter-century pursuing an economic strategy based largely upon the access to the U.S. market provided by NAFTA.”[46]

The very close ties with the U.S. economy, which besides huge exports shares include the maquiladora industries, manufacturing chains that spread plants across Mexico, Canada and the U.S., as well as the crucial economic impact from remittances, necessitate a very slow and gradual transition away from NAFTA.

Otherwise, the Mexican economy would be badly hurt.

Bibliography:

  • Alba, Francisco. “The Mexican Economy and Mexico-U.S. Migration: A Macro Perspective.” In Mexico-U.S. Migration Management: A Binational Approach, edited by Agustin Escobar Latapi and Susan F. Martin, 33-59. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto: Lexington Books, 2008.
  • Bacon , David. “NAFTA, the Cross-Border Disaster.” The American Prospect, November 7, 2017. https://prospect.org/power/nafta-cross-border-disaster/.
  • Centeno, Miguel Angel, Diana Enriquez, and Larry Liu . “NAFTA on the Brink?” The American Interest, September 27, 2018. https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/09/27/nafta-on-the-brink/.
  • Hoskin, Marilyn. “The United States: Immigration Model or Nation of Continuous Conflict?” In Understanding Immigration: Issues and Challenges in an Era of Mass Population Movement, 25-63. Suny Press, 2017.
  • Kane, Tim. “No, Mr. Trump, NAFTA Was Not a ‘Bad Deal’.” National Review, May 5, 2016. Accessed March 18, 2019. https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/05/donald-trump-nafta-free-trade-wrong/.
  • Kesselman, Mark, Joel Krieger, and William A. Joseph. Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas. 8th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2017.
  • Lawrence , Felicity. “Trump Is Right: Nafta Is a Disaster. But US Workers Aren’t the Big Losers.” The Guardian, November 18, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/18/trump-nafta-us-workers-not-big-losers-mexican-workers-suffer-most.
  • Mazza, Jacqueline. “The U.S.- Mexico Border and Mexican Migration to the United States: A 21st Century Review.” Review of International Affairs 37, no. 2 (Summer 2017): 33-47. Accessed March 18, 2019. https://search-proquest-com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/docview/2165609619?accountid=14771&pq-origsite=summon.
  • Molina, Natalia. “The Power of Racial Scripts: What the History of Mexican Immigration to the United States Teaches Us About Relational Notions of Race.” Latino Studies 8, no.2 (2010): 156-75.
  • “Real Time World Statistics.” Worldometers. Accessed March 18, 2019. http://www.worldometers.info/.
  • Schulz, Donald E., and Edward J. Williams. Mexico Faces The 21st Century. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995.
  • Somjee, A. H. ” The Variety of Development Experiences” Development Theory: Critiques and Explorations, 1991, 43-83.
  • Weisbrot, Mark, Lara Merling, Vitor Mello, Stephan Lefebvre, and Joseph Sammut. “Did NAFTA Help Mexico? An Update After 23 Years.” Center for Economic and Policy Research, March 2017, 1-24.

Notes:

[1] A. H. Somjee, “The Variety of Development Experiences”, Development Theory: Critiques and Explorations, 1991, 57

[2] Somjee, Ibid, 53

[3] Marilyn Hoskin, “The United States: Immigration Model or Nation of Continuous Conflict?” In Understanding Immigration: Issues and Challenges in an Era of Mass Population Movement (Suny Press, 2017), 40

[4] Hoskin, Ibid, 30

[5] Francisco Alba, “The Mexican Economy and Mexico-U.S. Migration: A Macro Perspective,” In Mexico-U.S. Migration Management: A Binational Approach, ed. Agustin Escobar Latapi and Susan F. Martin (Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto: Lexington Books, 2008), 48

[6] Hoskin, Ibid, 42

[7] “Real Time World Statistics,” Worldometers, accessed March 18, 2019, http://www.worldometers.info/.

[8] “Real Time World Statistics,” Worldometers, accessed March 18, 2019, http://www.worldometers.info/.

[9] Donald E. Schulz and Edward J. Williams, Mexico Faces The 21st Century (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995), 122

[10] Hoskin, Ibid, 39

[11] Jacqueline Mazza, “The U.S.- Mexico Border and Mexican Migration to the United States: A 21st Century Review,” Review of International Affairs 37, no. 2 (Summer 2017): , accessed March 18, 2019, https://search-proquest-com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/docview/2165609619?accountid=14771&pq-origsite=summon , 35

[12] Natalia Molina, “The Power of Racial Scripts: What the History of Mexican Immigration to the United States Teaches Us About Relational Notions of Race,” Latino Studies 8, no. 2 (2010), 168

[13] Hoskin, Ibid, 40

[14] Hoskin, Ibid, 40

[15] Hoskin, Ibid, 39

[16] Molina, Ibid, 157

[17] Hoskin, Ibid, 43

[18] Hoskin, Ibid, 43

[19] Hoskin, Ibid, 44

[20] Hoskin, Ibid, 44

[21] Hoskin, Ibid, 46

[22] Felicity Lawrence , “Trump Is Right: Nafta Is a Disaster. But US Workers Aren’t the Big Losers,” The Guardian, November 18, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/18/trump-nafta-us-workers-not-big-losers-mexican-workers-suffer-most.

[23] Weisbrot, Ibid, 14

[24] David Bacon, “NAFTA, the Cross-Border Disaster,” The American Prospect, November 7, 2017, https://prospect.org/power/nafta-cross-border-disaster/.

[25] Miguel Angel Centeno, Diana Enriquez , and Larry Liu, “NAFTA on the Brink?,” The American Interest, September 27, 2018, https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/09/27/nafta-on-the-brink/.

[26] Bacon, Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Centeno, Ibid.

[29] Bacon, Ibid.

[30] Lawrence, Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Centeno, Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Schulz, Ibid, 158

[35] Bacon, Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Mark Weisbrot et al., “Did NAFTA Help Mexico? An Update After 23 Years,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, March 2017, 3

[38] Centeno, Ibid.

[39] Weisbrot, Ibid, 6

[40] Weisbrot, Ibid, 3

[41] Bacon, Ibid.

[42] Weisbrot, Ibid, 19

[43] Weisbrot, Ibid, 4

[44] Tim Kane, “No, Mr. Trump, NAFTA Was Not a ‘Bad Deal’,” National Review, May 5, 2016, accessed March 18, 2019, https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/05/donald-trump-nafta-free-trade-wrong/

[45] Hoskin, Ibid, 39

[46] Mark Kesselman, Joel Krieger, and William A. Joseph, Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas, 8th ed. (Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2017), 416

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