Kathryn Kopinak, University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Rosa M. Soriano Miras, Universidad de Granada (Spain)
Abstract: Economic globalization has brought the movement of people and increasing transnational connections among them which may best be studied from a comparative perspective. The research presented here focuses on two comparable phases of labor migration. Firstly, the impact of both previous work experience in Mexico and gender differences are evaluated for labor migration to the United States. The second phase of the project, in which we are currently immersed, attempts to compare the Mexico – US migratory process with that from Morocco to Spain. Previous work experience in country of origin is dichotomized into maquiladora and non-maquiladora employment. The methodology used is Grounded Theory, a technique used to collect data via in depth interviews. The results indicate that at the western tip of the US-Mexico border where maquiladoras comprise the largest economic base, an export platform has been formed which facilitates the movement of both goods and people across the border. Mexicans in the border area, where most maquilas are located, can get documents more easily and also acquire skills important for getting jobs in the United States. Simultaneously, social networks form which also facilitate migration. The recent installation of export industries in Morocco invites an examination of the similarities and differences in both migratory contexts.