WNC Citizens Blog

Latino population continues to grow in N.C.
- Part 1 of a 3-part series

By Catherine Hunter
Staff Writer

Part 1 of a 3-part series

Latino immigrants wait for work in the parking lot of Hot Spot nearly every morning. Accurate statistics for the rise in the undocumented Latino population are difficult to calculate, but because of the economic boom, North Carolina has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the nation.
According to reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, North Carolina had one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the country between 1995 and 2005 and at least 45 percent do not possess legal documentation. The immigrants are coming to North Carolina for jobs which, apparently after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in January 1994, are hard to find in Mexico. Rhia Estes of the International Friendship Center in Highlands said the main reason for the large influx of immigrants from Mexico is NAFTA which put many small farmers in Mexico out of business.

Source: Macon County News and Shopping Guide

I'll post links to each part as they become available, and offer some commentary after I read them.

I can't help but notice that NAFTA is blamed for sending these people here because they are starving, and can't find work. Wasn't it promised that NAFTA would provide jobs for them down there, so they wouldn't have to come here?

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