Mexican Factories Beg For Workers; Biden’s Migrants Walk On By
In Tijuana, manufacturing plants are desperate to fill jobs that Mexicans won’t do.
With some 14,000 openings at maquiladoras in the border town – not counting the more than 2,000 vacancies at businesses that provide support and resources for those factories – companies are looking to put minors to work on the assembly lines.
U.S. and Canadian firms want to re-shore production from Asia to avoid supply-chain disruptions such as those brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, Detroit automakers with a presence in Mexico are eyeing investments in electric vehicle production.
But the Biden administration’s mass immigration policies are undermining Mexican-based maquiladoras by enabling more prospective workers to cross into the U.S. in ever-greater numbers.
While wages and conditions at Tijuana’s plants may be inferior to those in the U.S., economic development officers for the city of San Diego, Calif., say maquiladoras facilitate three primary objectives for Mexico: job creation, technology transfer and generation of foreign exchange. More than 570 maquiladoras operate in Tijuana, providing more than 100,000 jobs.
This can be a mixed bag for the United States. Technology transfers may hamper competitiveness, and America’s former trade surplus with Mexico has turned into an $86 billion deficit. But maquiladoras are just one factor in those global equations.
In addition to employing workers south of the border, U.S.-based firms send thousands of Americans into Mexico to work at the so-called “twin plants” as managers, quality control specialists and engineers. Companies include Honeywell, Hughes Aircraft, IBM and Mattel.
“There’s almost a seamless situation, and we reap the benefits,” says Jerry Pacheco, president of the U.S.-based Border Industrial Association.
Trade experts have long calculated that for every four jobs created by maquiladoras, one job is generated in America. Pacheco estimates the ratio is closer to three-to-one these days.
As maquiladoras target local teenagers to meet workforce needs, some non-Mexican adults are finding opportunities there. A recent article highlighted a group of “thriving Haitians” who once sought asylum in the U.S. but settled down to work in Tijuana’s factories.
Mexico issued work permits to the islanders because the maquiladoras need help. The Haitians jumped at the chance to obtain education, marry Mexican citizens, establish homes and even raise capital to start their own businesses.
“Maquiladoras create employment opportunities and additional income in the border region,” San Diego officials say. Unfortunately for Mexico and America, Joe Biden’s border policies are wrecking that model as he swamps the U.S. labor pool with bogus asylum seekers who undercut wages and replace workers here.