When Vasquez Jimenez collapsed, she had been on the job three days, pruning vines for $8 an hour in a vineyard owned by West Coast Grape Farming.In San Diego, meanwhile, crossing the border has become a popular way to beat high gas prices:
During eight hours of work beginning at 6 a.m. in heat that topped 95 degrees, Bautista said that workers were given only one water break, at 10:30 a.m. And the water was a 10-minute walk away – too far, he said, to keep up with the crew and avoid being scolded.
Vasquez Jimenez collapsed at 3:30 p.m., Bautista said, and for at least five minutes, the foreman did nothing but stare at the couple while Bautista cradled her.
The differential in diesel is even greater, selling at $5.04 a gallon in San Diego County and $2.20 in Tijuana.
Paul Covarrubias, 26, who lives in Chula Vista and works in construction in San Diego, crosses the border each week just to refuel his dual-cab Ford F-250 pickup.
"I fill it up with diesel in Tijuana for $60," he said. "It would be almost twice that in San Diego."
Gas is cheaper in Mexico because of a government subsidy intended to keep inflationary forces in check.