Maquiladoras: Manufacturing Poverty in Mexico Essay
The first real need for migrant workers by US employers came during the expansion of cattle ranches in the Southwest and the increase in agricultural production in California during 1850 and 1880. During this time over 55,000 workers emigrated from Mexico to the United States seeking jobs as field hands (pbs.org). A majority of workers were also employed in the completion of the railway that would eventually connect Mexico with the United States. In fact, it is estimated that during the height of construction between 1880 and 1890, as many as 60% of the working crews were Mexican (pbs.org). Soon the Mexican workforce became well established in American industries including mining, the railroad and commercial agriculture. Up to this point the migration of workers into the Unites States was small and limited mainly to skilled miners, field hands, indentured servants and small manufacturers forced north by Indians raids or the Mexican Revolution (pbs.org).
The aftermath of the Revolution provided a bleak outlook for the future of Mexico and dashed hopes to improve the lives of its citizens. Weaker harvests led to mass unemployment and it became clear that the Mexican lower class would have to find a new source of employment. Around this same time, the majority of the US labor force was overseas