Accepted Paper:

Disposable Workers: The Role of Neoliberal Policies in Labor Driven Migration from Mexico to the United States  


Juan Bustamante (University of Arkansas)

Paper short abstract:

This paper is about Mexican workers in the USA, in the context of neo-liberal policies.

Paper long abstract:

This paper sheds light on the relative recent trends of guest worker programs between Mexico and the United States (US). It examines the guest worker program as a byproduct of US neoliberal policies. This manuscript advances our understanding on the effects of restrictionist immigration law and unskilled labor shortages on the institualization of guest worker programs. I first examine the extent to which racist immigration discourses permeate the policy making process to view guest workers as disposable people. Then, I show some of the strategies recruiters and employers utilize to keep this labor driven migration temporary and circular. This paper concludes by reflecting on the negative effects of this immigration policy on the Mexican immigrant community. A structural inequality approach is used to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the aim of this immigration policy. This model focuses on the relationship between the larger society and individuals. It provides exceptional insights into the analyses of social life on a structural scale and individual action levels as two mutually yet opposing systems. This study uses qualitative data gathered in Mid-Michigan, US. In addition to an extensive collection of fieldnotes, seven in-depth interviews from Mexican guest workers with H-2B visa (unskilled worker) were conducted.

Contact Information:

Panel MMM31
The causes and diversity of migration processes (IUAES Commission on Migration and Diaspora)