Remittances to Latin America Rebound After April’s Economic Shutdown

Immigrants from Latin America are once again sending money back to their home countries. Remittances from the U.S. to countries like Mexico are on the rise according to the Pew Research Center.

The upside: It may be a sign the U.S. economy is recovering, as people are able to find or get back to work.

The downside: Ira Mehlman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform says money sent away hurts our economy.

“When somebody earns their money in Houston and spends it locally, that money is recycled through the local economy, taxes are collected. When it sent to another country, that is money that is lost to the local economy,” Mehlman said.

Pew found remittances to some Latin American nations fell sharply in April amid the U.S. economic shutdown. It then rebounded months afterwards, in June and July. Mehlman points the finger at some Latin American governments that support immigrants coming to the U.S. just to send money back. He argues remittances on such a large scale hurts those Latin American countries on the receiving end (in the long run).

“You have these governments that say no, rather than make the economic and social reforms in these countries, we would rather just send our workers abroad and sit by the mailbox, and wait for those checks, and sometimes the checks just don’t arrive and then you’re in big trouble,” Mehlman added.

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