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Sep-16-2010 14:18printcomments

Commerce/Immigration: Migrant Dollars Lag

Individually, the states of Jalisco, Mexico, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Guerrero all received more remittances than any of their northern border counterparts.


(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) - Migrant remittances to the six northern Mexican border states showed a mixed record during the first half of 2010, according to figures from the official Bank of Mexico (Banxico) quoted in an El Paso newspaper. While Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua registered increases in comparison with the same period of 2009, the states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas all recorded decreases.

For the first six months of 2010, Chihuahua led the border pack in terms of migrant dollars received, registering the capture of $211.9 million. Still, the dollar total was only $200,000 more than the first semester of 2009’s remittances. Counting $131.3 million in remittances, Coahuila came in at the bottom of the list for the first six months of 2010.

Taken as a whole, the northern border region experienced a slight dip in remittances when comparing the first half of 2010 with the same months of 2009. Although about $1.023 billion was received last year, the number dropped to approximately $1.019 billion this year.

Especially in urban areas along the northern border, migrant-earned dollars are often pumped back into the US economy by Mexican shoppers who find lower-priced goods in US border cities.

In evaluating the importance of remittances to regions of Mexico, states in the northern border area are far behind interior entities like Michoacan, which received $594 million during the first half of the year, and Guanajuato, which took in $561 million.

Individually, the states of Jalisco, Mexico, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Guerrero all received more remittances than any of their northern border counterparts. The six states cashed in on remittances valued between $300 million and $480 million each.

Nationwide, remittances calculated for the month of July rose a slight $33.8 million over the same month in 2009. Sources affiliated with Banxico estimated that the annual sum of migrant dollars could increase from about $21.2 billion in 2009 to approximately $22 billion in 2010. But analysts with Banxico, the private Santander bank and the Mexican Congress cautioned that economic and immigration law uncertainties in the US cloud the picture for migrant remittances in Mexico.

“Remittances are a complement to the income of migrant families,” said a report from the Mexican Chamber of Deputies’ Center for the Study of Public Finances. “For this reason, their decrease will have consequences not only for (family economic) conditions, but also for internal consumer demand.”

Miguel Angel Colunga, advisor to the Democratic Campesino Front of Chihuahua, said migrants from his state were able to keep sending money home because of their well-established connections and knowledge of specialized work opportunities in the US-in spite of the recession. Colunga’s group represents residents of small farming communities who’ve established a tradition of migration to New Mexico, Colorado and other states.


  • El Diario de El Paso, September 12, 2010. Article by Miguel Quezada Barron.
  • El Universal, July 29, 2010; August 18, 2010; September, 2, 2010. Articles by Ruben Migueles Tenorio, Andrea Merlos and Ricardo Jimenez.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico

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