Argumentative driven essay: Increased Trade in The US-Mexico Border has improved Economy and Social Lifestyle in the Border.
How did free trade market liberalization policies and increased economic integration between the United States and Mexico from the mid –twentieth to late twentieth century affect the political, economic and social fabric of the U.S-Mexico border?
The United State and Mexico border have been faced by various issues both positive and adverse. There have been market liberation policies that have positively impacted on the increased economic activities in the border. The Mexicans and the United States have in the past had a hostile relationship that led to the fortification of a wall that was meant to separate the two nations. The border residents objected the construction of the wall. The Mexican government insisted that a wall was never a solution to their problems and that there were other means of resolving the problems. The Mexicans in the border regarded it as stupid, offensive and ineffective.
On the positive side, the trade policies and treaties have resulted to positive trade in US and Mexico as well. The North American Free Trade Agreement has single-handedly positively impacted on the border trade positively (Dear, 76). The US-Mexico border became the fourth member of the agreement. In 1995, the Mexican shoppers spent $22 billion in the US and also, they paid $1.7 billion in taxes to the United States. The association created 400, 000 jobs within the United States. When this was balanced against what the US spent on the illegal immigrants the states still had 600% profit. These gains made Mexico be the second largest trading partner. Despite all these benefits, there are certain challenges that the United State has to deal with. In the US-Mexico border has a 22 million inhabitants and the government earned $300 billion as gross domestic product and $100 billion in trade in 1995. In 1995, the border had 225 million people that crossed the border legally, and the crossing had the benefit for both Mexico and US (Brown, 106).
Since 1965, when the United States and Mexico started forming trading programs, there has been an increase in population and economy in the region. The three important programs between the two border nations that are the Bracero Program, the Programa Nacional Fronterizo and the Border Indus tribalization Program. In most cases, scholars have analyzed the economic impact of these programs and ignore the social consequences of the increasing population at the border. It is easy to ascertain that the trade treaties and the programs have improved the economic activities of the two regions. However, the devastating social effect of the increasing population and illegal activities in the border.
The Bracero Program was intended to help the Mexican people to get employed in the United States temporarily. It improved the economic relationship between the two countries and when it finally ended many Mexicans became unemployed when they were sent back to their nation. The many unemployed people returning to Mexico only increased the poverty rates in the country, and it resulted in many struggling within the Mexicans. The Programa Nacional Fronterizo was started to ensure that the development of the border, it ensured that many infrastructures were developed and trade in the border enhanced (Frieda, 31). The programs served its purpose and the parks around the frontier became accessible and the trade was improved. The Border Indus tribalization Program was started to alleviate poverty in the border. The program collaborated with the United States, and it ensured that Industries were started up in Mexico to provide employment for a large number of the unemployed people in Mexico. The industrialization of the border improved the living standard in Mexico. However, as a result of the increasing population in the frontier, the industry could not provide employment for everybody.
There were many cases of prostitution across the borderland in 1903-1910. The American government was vigilant at the woman from Mexico who crossed the border to associate in prostitution in Texas and other cities. Brown and her counterparts had a lot of brothels within the United States. Brown was charged with the task of importing the women from Mexico, and thus she knew all the routes that connected the two countries (Delgado, 158). She knew when to lie low and to appear publicly. She had numerous connections with the corps and the political leaders. The business flourished and attracted the attention of various organizations that were against the white slavery. Prostitution is one of the economic activities that existed in the US-Mexico border and received a negative reaction from other people, authority, and various organizations. Within the period the border was plagued with various illegal business activities, that is white slavery and prostitution.
The increase illegal immigration across the border has led to negative effect in the United States. In 1912, Samuel Bryan listed the evil that comes with the increased illegal immigrants from Mexico to US (Oliviero, 700). The immigrants were not learned and were very slow to learn English. They also harbored criminals and mostly lived together promoting their culture and try they best not to be assimilated into the Americans’ culture. These are some of the evil that resulted from the borderland and resulted in strict legislation in the area.
In around 1945-1965, the greatest threat of all-time hit the border. The narcotic started growing up, and the primary market that was targeted was the United States (Gootenberg, 245). Mexico being the immediate border to the US had an easy time transporting their Drugs into the US. The Cartels started forming, and the border became the central place for the transport of the Drugs into the state. The government had to intervene and come up with the best way to deal with the new business that was claiming lives at a very faster rate. The numerous crime wars claimed lives of many innocent people that are usually caught in the crossfire. The Mexicans that had illegally migrated to the US harbored their criminal counterparts. As a result of the crime in the border, legislations were set up by the US government to control the number of people who owned firearms in the area.
The border relation also has negative effect on both the US and Mexico. The government became fierce and even started making measures to control and monitor the people that moved through the border. There have been efforts to enhance fortification of the boundary along the US-Mexico border. The fortification has been mainly intended to limit the illegal immigration of Mexicans into the US. However, fortification or building of the wall cannot fully cover the boundary since it does not include the water and space. There are acts that have been passed by the US in in 1996 and 2006 authorizing the building of a fence along the border (Dear, 148). The Mexican government has assured that the wall is not the best solution in that it will cut the communities apart and in the end, the wall will still get torn down.
In conclusion, the increased business treaties and programs helped to improve the economic activities and social events in the region. Before the treaties, the border was mainly ridden with illegal business and poverty. The prostitution, white slavery and narcotics were the main activities on the U.S-Mexico border. There have been acts that had been put in place to ensure the fortification of the frontier. The Mexican governments have always been against the idea of the wall since it was presented in 1965. When the NAFTA treaty came into the plan and had U.S-Mexico border has the fourth member the economic activities greatly improved. The economic activities have significantly improved and the United States substantially gained from the treaties. The three programs positively improved the economic and social standards of the both the United States and Mexico. However, United State suffers social issues regarding the free movement that has resulted from the massive illegal Mexican immigrants moving to the states. The treaties made it easy to easily move across the borders. When some of the programs ended it resulted to devastating effect and thus the need to keep the programs running.
Brown, Timothy, C., The Fourth Member of NAFTA: The U.S.-Mexico Border. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 550, NAFTA Revisited: Expectations and Realities. (Mar., 1997), pp. 105-121.
Dear, Michael. Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the Us-Mexico Divide. Cary: Oxford University Press, USA, 2014. Print.
Delgado, Pena, Grace., Border Control and Sexual Policing: White Slavery and Prostitution along the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1903–1910. Western Historical Quarterly 43 (Summer 2012): 157–178
Gootenberg, Paul. Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. Print.
Frieda, Molina, The Social Impacts of the Maquiladora Industry on Mexican Border Towns. Berkeley Planning Journal, 2(1). 1985.
Oliviero, Katie, E., Sensational Nation and the Minutemen: Gendered Citizenship and Moral Vulnerabilities. The University of Chicago. Signs, Vol. 36, No. 3. Spring 2011, pp. 679- 706.