Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name


Capstone Instructor

Dr. Mark Bowles


This thesis will examine the history of labor along the U.S.-Mexico border. As a backdrop, the history of the border region as a whole will be used to show the development of industry in the region over the past several generations. Two types of labor will be specifically showcased, the Bracero Program (1942-64) and the maquiladora industry (1965-present). This thesis will pay particular attention to human rights, examining the condition of Mexican workers in relation to what would be universally acceptable. Secondary literature will be drawn upon, whose research has shown that these workers have been exploited and marginalized. With this as a basic premise, this thesis will explore the following questions: Why have these workers been so mistreated? Why have these workers been largely unable to improve their situation? What are the future prospects for workers in the border region? This thesis will argue, given the fact that industry along the U.S.-Mexico border was started by foreign investors who have long employed exploitative practices with little interference by regulatory bodies, the likelihood that workers will have it any better in the future is not good.

Included in

History Commons



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