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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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Becoming a Border Commuter

Becoming a Border Commuter

(p.61) Chapter 3 Becoming a Border Commuter
Border Lives

Sergio Chávez

Oxford University Press

This chapter documents how current border crossers obtained legal documents that allowed them to live in Mexico and cross the border to work in the United States at two different historical periods. It details the migration and labor-market strategies that one group of migrants and residents employed to obtain legal documents following the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. With these documents in hand, this group was able to live in Mexico and work in San Diego. Modern-day crossers also use labor-market and social-network strategies to obtain Border Crossing Cards. These cards allow them to cross the border to shop and visit relatives in the United States but people use them in a variety of ways to generate income from the United States. The chapter argues that the daily crossing strategies of both groups help to construct a transborder economy.

Keywords:   Border Crossing Cards, Immigration Reform and Control Act, stepwise migration, internal and international migration, binational labor-market strategies

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