In the North-Central Mexican city of Juarez, times are often pretty rough. Crime is decreasing as of 2016, but the percentage of violent crimes in Mexico is still higher than almost all major cities in the country to the north, the United States. In fact, poverty is extremely prevalent with "494,000 Juarez residents living in poverty or extreme poverty" (Isaad). As Virginia Isaad points out "a new study from the UNICEF says that 5 out of 10 children in Mexico live in poverty" (Isaad). Juarez is indicative and symbolic of most cities in Mexico where many fear for their lives due to drug cartel violence or struggle to afford their next meal due to being paid next-to-nothing for backbreaking work. Of course, some Mexican citizens live comfortably, but a majority would leave Mexico in a hurry for the promise of an even slightly better life somewhere else. Being paid forty to fifty dollars a day (as many day laborers are often paid) sounds pretty harsh and unappealing, but that pay period is significantly better than being paid the same or less amount for an entire week of work, so because of this, combined with a vision of America being a great and prosperous land, many Mexicans seek employment in la tierra prometida1 and don't look back.
Seeking work, these immigrant workers travel north, and work is without a doubt what they have done. As of 2015, in the United States alone, the Washington Post reports that undocumented workers account for "24 percent of all groundskeepers, 23 percent of domestic workers and 20 percent of those in clothing manufacturing [nationwide]" (Constable). In addition to these industries, undocumented workers have established themselves as a fairly prevalent figure in known well-paying industries holding "34 percent of all jobs in drywall installation, 27 percent in roofing and 24 percent in painting" (Constable). However, these industries are notably more regulated than the agricultural industry, where a large majority of those who come to the United States find themselves employed.