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Border LivesFronterizos, Transnational Migrants, and Commuters in Tijuana$
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Sergio Chávez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199380572

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199380572.001.0001

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The Occupational Careers of Ex-Braceros

The Occupational Careers of Ex-Braceros

(p.28) Chapter 2 The Occupational Careers of Ex-Braceros
Border Lives

Sergio Chávez

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the return-migration and labor-market trajectories of ex-braceros who relocated to Tijuana after the termination of the Bracero Program in 1964. Rather than return to their places of origin or remain in the United States, as others did throughout Mexico, the ex-braceros in this study settled in Tijuana because the economy of the borderlands provided them with economic opportunities that were not constrained to one side of the border. It finds that some ex-braceros found their niche in the expanding urban labor market of Tijuana in construction, small business, and transportation. Another group became border commuters and continued to cross the border daily to work in US farms. The chapter shows that each group of ex-braceros had distinct economic and noneconomic reasons for choosing their occupational careers either in Mexico or the United States as the borderlands provided each group with different opportunities for their livelihoods.

Keywords:   braceros, urban economy, agriculture, farmworkers, legal status, border commuter, reskilling, Bracero Program

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