Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

Uncertain Causes and Effects of Declining Remittances

by Shannon K. O'Neil Thursday, August 9, 2007

A recent report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) concludes that Mexican migrants are sending back less money or remittances to their home country than in the past. A survey of 900 migrants showed that only 64% – compared to the previous 71% – sent money home in the first half of 2007. The fall was particularly acute in new migrant  states, or those without long histories of Latino communities. The reasons suggested by the survey are anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States and a general feeling of insecurity and discrimination on the part of migrants. This is leading these workers to save more, and to reduce flows home. The polling results also show that more Mexican migrants expect to leave the United States in the next five years than before, seeming to support these conclusions. Read more »