Though Mexicans often take the most hazardous jobs, they are more likely than others to be killed even when doing similarly risky work.
The death rates are greatest in several Western and Southern states, where a Mexican worker is four times more likely to die than the average U.S.-born worker. In Arizona, the annual Mexican worker death toll has been increasing, but because of the large Mexican-born population their death rates are lower than most other states, though the rates are still well above the average for U.S.-born workers.
For the first study of its kind of Mexican worker deaths in the United States, the AP talked with scores of workers, employers, advocates and government officials and analyzed years of federal safety and population statistics.
Among the findings:
Public safety officials and workers themselves say Mexicans are hired to work cheap, and the fewer questions the better. They may be thrown into jobs without training or safety equipment, and their objections may be silent if they speak no English. Those here illegally, fearful of attracting attention, can be reluctant to complain. And their work culture and Third World safety expectations don't discourage extra risk-taking.