Remittances sent to Mexico reaches record high of more than $26 billion
Remittances sent to Mexico reached a record high of more than $26 billion last year, according to recently released data from the Central Bank of Mexico.
“Industries in which most immigrants work at have seen an uptick in employment over the last couple of years,” said Salvador Contreras, assistant professor of economics at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The growth in jobs within the hospitality or construction sector could mean more disposable income. The strength of the U.S. dollar relative to the Mexican Peso could also be an incentive for people to send money abroad, said Contreras.
The currency exchange rate at the beginning of January 2018 was about 19.54 pesos per dollar, according to Bloomberg.
Another factor driving the uptick in money sent to Mexico could be the Trump administration’s proposals to crack down on immigration.
“There’s also been an anti-immigrant rhetoric here in the U.S., which is likely also driving these patterns,” said Contreras.
Last year, President Trump threatened to impose a tax on remittances to pay for his proposed border wall. Employees at Order Express, a check cashing business in McAllen, say that their customers have expressed a sentiment of fear.
“Because of this recent political status of where the country is, they are scared to be deported and they are saving their money here and sending it to Mexico,” said Andrea Poblano, who has been a cashier at Order Express for two years.
Order Express saw an increase in the number of remittances sent through their company, a spokesperson for the business said. Last year, money sent abroad increased by 4 percent compared to 2016.