by Tamara Karram
Here in Dallas, a study by the SMU Mission Food Texas-Mexico Center has revealed that Mexicans are not taking jobs away from Texans, despite the persistent stereotype.
On the contrary, the study showed that Mexicans are helping create additional employment opportunities and providing valuable labor for our growing economy.
After the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994, the Texas economy underwent a major shift surrounding goods, products and movement of people.
In cities like Dallas, a cultural shift also took place. According to the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center, in 2015 the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area’s exports to free trade agreement markets represented 45 percent of total exports.
As Mexico-based companies moved to North Texas, Mexican brands, workers, and products permeated the city of Dallas. According to the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center, 382,000 jobs in Texas depend on trade with Mexico. Additionally, in 2015 Mexico was Dallas’s top foreign market, accounting for 17 percent of its total goods exports. On the other end, Dallas also had a high volume of exports accounting for 13 percent of total Texas goods exports.
According to SMU, 11 percent of the student body identifies as Hispanic. Of international students at the school, many are Mexican.
Mexico’s cultural influences in Dallas remain clear.