Many Call Center Workers Are Deported Mexicans
They endure culture shock and wage drop in border towns
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2014 3:35 PM CDT
In this Aug. 13, 2014 photo, an overall view of the Firstkontact Center, a call center in the northern border city of Tijuana, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Alex Cossio)

(Newser) – That voice on the phone may sound American, but it could be a deported Mexican working at a call center just south of the border. Thousands of Mexicans deported under the Obama administration are working at call centers in border cities like Tijuana, where their good English enables them to help consumers with questions about things like products, warranties, and deliveries, the AP reports. "If you're deported, more than likely you're going to get a job at a call center," says one who helps customers as far as Kentucky and Wisconsin. "The wages ain't much, but it's good enough for where we're at right now. You can't compare it to the United States."

Indeed, the typical $150 starting salary is a big drop for those who lived in the US—especially during the mid-2000s housing boom. And the sudden move can lead to various problems, like culture shock, depression, and hassles with police for lacking Mexican ID. Plus, many came to the attention of US authorities because they had committed a crime; some wear gang tattoos. "We have employees who, unfortunately, fell in with the wrong crowds and pursued lives of crime but, oddly enough, many of them are very loyal," says a center's marketing director. And more are coming: A Mexican faces deportation for running a brothel in Trenton, NJ, the Star-Ledger reports, and a "notorious serial plaintiff" who has sued over 800 LA-area businesses for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act has been deported to Mexico, reports ABC7.

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Showing 3 of 78 comments
GB99
Aug 23, 2014 4:05 PM CDT
It is very funny, the precarious position our president is in. He wants the Hispanic vote, but doesn't want Hispanics taking over the Democrat party. He is playing both sides of the fence. Plus, the assumption that if you are Hispanic, you are loyal to Hispanics first, is ludicrous. Political cynicism at its best.
$115803099
Aug 23, 2014 1:30 PM CDT
How's that Capitalism working for you now America?
drew7282
Aug 23, 2014 11:26 AM CDT
Republicans made thousands of these people slave wages during 2000's, now they are not need it, so they kicking them out. Yes, it is Republican Congress Ladies and Gentleman, you will have to agree with me on this one. Sadly, that also tells you that they don't see any need for them in the future because new recession will be coming thanks to them.