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Mexicans living abroad sent home record remittances in 2017

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Mexican immigrants work in a San Francisco restaurant. Many are sending more money back home than before. Photo: Getty

Mexicans living in other countries sent money back home in record numbers last year, mostly from United States.

Mexico’s weak currency and President Trump’s threat to tax remittances are seen as the main drivers of the trend.

Mexicans sent $26.1 billion from January to November 2017, according to the central bank of Mexico. That tops the $24.1 billion sent the previous year over the same period, and once December’s figures are in, yet another record is expected to be reached.

Remittances bring in more money than oil exports, making it the biggest source of foreign money for Mexico.

Dollars buy more pesos these days: one buck buys about 19.50. That’s slightly above its all-time low in January 2017.

The peso plunged after the U.S. 2016 election, triggered by fears that President Trump would tear up NAFTA or impose tariffs on Mexican imports. A tax on Mexican remittances would be one way Trump would make good on his promise to make Mexico “pay” for a new border wall he promised.

The earthquake in and around Mexico City in September was another reason for Mexicans in the U.S. to send extra cash home to loved ones. Remittances the following month hit $2.6 billion, the highest for any month last year, according to Mexico’s central bank.

Remittances heading to Yucatán

Of Yucatán state’s 2 million citizens, 3,200 of them are in the United States, according to the 2017 Yearbook from the National Population Council.

Remittances to Yucatán from U.S. go mainly to Mérida, followed by Oxkutzcab, Tekax, Ticul and Peto. Families in the Yucatecan capital received $53.2 million USD in 2016 from family who crossed the border and are working in California, Oregon, Texas, Colorado and Washington, D.C.

In the last several years, remittances from the U.S. have increased despite fewer Yucatecans going north of the border to find work.

Sources: CNN, Sipse

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