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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Migration of Mexican Seasonal Farm Workers to Canada and Development, Obstacles to Productive Investment

Author: Basok, T.
Author Background:
Date Spring 2000
Type Journal
Journal Title: International-Migration-Review
Volume/Pages 34, 1(129) 79-97
Subject Matter Community Development; International
Abstract Explores the impact of international labor migration on development in communities of origin, based on research on the use of remittances by Mexican seasonal workers in Ontario. Analysis draws on 1996/97 interviews with 154 Mexican workers in the Leamington area, supplemented by 1997/98 fieldwork in San Cristobal, Guanajuato, Mexico, including interviews with 100 participants in the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. It is argued that while international migration can contribute to some economic growth, this growth is limited. While the standards of living of seasonal labor migrants & their households improve (providing a basis for limited optimism), few migrants invest their money in productive activities. Instead, the improvements that the migrants' households experience are linked to continuous external sources of income. Findings illustrate that, while Canada-bound migrants experience both structural constraints related to the decline in subsistence agriculture in Mexico & those related to household composition (absence of males from the household), specific criteria used to select participants in the Canadian seasonal farm worker program compound the problems associated with the low potential among these workers to invest remittances productively. 7 Tables, 21 References. Adapted from the source document