Call centers in Monterrey, Nuevo León, where the main requirement for getting a job is being able to speak English, are proving to be a lifeline for some Mexicans deported by the United States.
One such deportee, who worked as a car salesman until his deportation in October 2009, told the newspaper Milenio that he tried for weeks to find a job after arriving in Monterrey, where he had family.
But Jaime Rodríguez spoke no Spanish: he had arrived in the U.S. as a minor and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.
“I was hired immediately. The single requisite is to speak English, and that’s my mother tongue despite being Mexican,” he told Milenio.
Culture shock is a problem for many. Juan García arrived in Atlanta as a five-year-old child but was sent back to Mexico as a young man. He too ended up in Monterrey where he also found the only job opportunity was in a call center.
The city is home to a large number of such businesses, such as Teleperformance, Sutherland, CMS, Global Telesourcing and Language Line, to name a few. According to unofficial numbers provided by unidentified internal sources, close to 60% of their employees are Mexicans who have been deported from the United States.
In 2015, the U.S. deported 242,456 Mexicans, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
With new immigration policies that include a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, there is speculation that the number will see a massive increase.
Although the federal government has vowed to support repatriated Mexicans, it has yet to offer a clear employment program for them.
In the meantime, call centers may continue to be the answer for some.