caroline eaton tracey
writer

caroline.e.tracey at gmail dot com

“Young, Deported, and Learning to Code”
Rest of World
30 March 2021

“I can still picture the color of the sky in southwest Detroit,” he says. “I’m a grown man, but I cried. I felt like my life was over.” But three years after his deportation, Figueroa draws a salary double average in Mexico and lives in the country’s highest-income postal code. “I’m rockin’ it,” he says. Despite his earlier misfortunes, Figueroa seems to have found the “American Dream” — south of the Rio Grande, as one of Mexico’s new class of offshore coders.

Programming jobs are seen as abundant, stable, and well-paid — a surefire entry into the upper-middle class both in the U.S. as well as Mexico. But coding didn’t come to Mexico by chance. The outsourcing of software engineering is the latest iteration of a century-old pattern of U.S. industries moving labor-intensive operations to Mexico. Multinational companies profit from moving stable, middle-class work abroad. And in Mexico, return migrants — who are often fully bilingual and have experience working for U.S. companies — make particularly attractive candidates for this “nearsourced” work.







Caroline Eaton Tracey writes about the US Southwest, Mexico, and the borderlands between the two. She speaks and works in English, Spanish, and Russian.

Caroline’s reporting appears in n+1, the Nation, the Guardian, and elsewhere. In Spanish she covers the US-Mexico borderlands for Mexico’s Revista Nexos. Her reportage about migrant death in South Texas won the 2019 Scoundrel Time/Summer Literary Seminars nonfiction contest. 

Her personal essays appear in the Kenyon Review Online, Full Stop, New South, and elsewhere. “A River Passes By Here” was runner-up in the 2020 Financial Times/Bodley Head essay contest; “The Ephemeral Forever” won Ruminate Magazine’s 2021 VanderMey Nonfiction Contest.

Her art writing has appeared in Nexos, Variable West, SFMOMA’s Open Space, and Burlington Contemporary.

She is currently revising a manuscript of essays and preparing a book proposal about the effects of US border and migration policy in Mexico.

Ask her about sugar beets.
Caroline Eaton Tracey escribe sobre la geografía de México, el Suroeste de Estados Unidos y la frontera entre ellos. Habla ingles, español y ruso.

Sus artículos aparecen en n+1, The Nation y The Guardian, entre otros lugares. En español cubre la frontera norte para la Revista Nexos. En 2019, un artículo suyo sobre el fallecimiento de migrantes en el desierto del sur de Texas ganó el premio de no ficción de Scoundrel Time/Summer Literary Seminars. 

Sus ensayos aparecen en Kenyon Review Online, Full Stop y New South, entre otros lugares. “Aquí Pasa Un Río” ganó segundo lugar en el premio de ensayo Financial Times/Bodley Head de 2020; en 2021 “Lo Efímero, Para Siempre” ganó el concurso de no-ficción VanderMey de Ruminate Magazine. 

Sus reseñas y ensayos sobre el arte han aparecido en Nexos, Variable West, Open Space (plataforma del Museo de Arte Moderno de San Francisco) y Burlington Contemporary.

Actualmente está preparando un manuscrito de ensayos y una propuesta para un libro sobre los efectos de la política migratoria/fronteriza de Estados Unidos en México. 

Pregúntale sobre betabeles.