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eyes on the U.S.

'That Mexican Thing'? Huge Contributions To U.S. Economy

Mexican-American, and proud.
Mexican-American, and proud.
Fernando Chavez


MEXICO CITY — Republican nominee Donald Trump's continuing tirade against Mexicans have set off alarms on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. But are his prejudices rooted in any fact? Not at all, if you consider recent studies that measure contributions made by Mexican immigrants in the U.S.

One study by Mexican economist J. Cervantes and his assistant C. Sánchez at the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies, or CEMLA, identified a profile of these immigrants. It found that most Mexicans who leave Mexico head for the U.S. Almost as many women as men migrate to Mexico's northern neighbor. These women make up a strong component of the U.S. labor market, followed by women from China and the Philippines. The number of female Mexican immigrants engaged in full-time work in the U.S. has steadily increased since 2010.

U.S. citizens of Mexican origin — 35.8 million people — earned $563 billion in 2015, a figure that exceeded the gross domestic product (GDP) of several Latin American, Asian and European countries. Mexican immigrants without citizenship working in the U.S. — there are about 11.6 million of them — earned $239 billion the same year.

In total, that's $802 billion, which was 70% of Mexico's gross domestic product in 2015. This is significant for the U.S. economy but also for Mexico's economy as it receives 10% of these earnings in remittances, fueling a domestic consumer market.

When Trump's running mate Mike Pence quipped about "that Mexican thing" during the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 4 to refer to Trump's controversial anti-immigrant stances and plans to build a wall at the border, he should have considered the contributions Mexicans make to the U.S. economy. We are proud of them.

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

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For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

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