Mexicans Tourists Working on California Marijuana Farms

CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES — Mexican professionals and students are coming to the United States on tourist visas to work on marijuana farms and make quick money.

An article printed in the Excelsior, a Mexican newspaper, describes a “new migratory trend towards the United States.” This new trend is an unprecedented flow of English-speaking Mexicans, aged 24 to 34, who travel to the United States on a tourist visa to take advantage of the marijuana harvest season in the “Emerald Triangle”. The Emerald Triangle is in Northern California, made up of Medocino, Humboldt, and Trinity counties, and is the largest cannabis-producing region in the United States and the world.

“It’s another kind of migration that reaches such places,” says David, an anthropologist from Mexico City, who has participated in this new migratory trend. He notes that the majority of migrants who make their way to the Emerald Triangle are travelers who want to make money and continue traveling the world. David, explains that it is quick and easy money. (It’s also illegal; tourist visas do not permit employment.)

During his six-week sojourn, David met many Americans and Europeans working on the farm. But, more and more Mexicans are migrating in search of the “Emerald Dream.” David explained that he personally did not go to Northern California out of necessity, it was a “little adventure.” But, as anyone who goes to America to work, he hoped to earn a few dollars. He added that against any Latin American currency, the dollar indeed does have value.

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