March marked a nearly record breaking month for remittances, a.k.a. cash transfers, to Mexico, Reuters reports. Transfers totaled $2.52 billion for the month, up 15.1 percent, or $2.189 billion, from the same period of time in 2016. Cash transfers to Mexico have steadily risen over the last year or so. In 2016, the total value sent to Mexico was $26.97 billion, which was a 9 percent increase over 2015’s total.
Remittances have increased despite a decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants in the U.S., The Hill reports.
While the number of Mexican migrants living in the U.S. is on the decline, the average amount per remittance sent has increased from $291 to $316, as data from the central bank of Mexico, Banxico, showed.
Remittances have increased despite President Trump’s claims that he might impound Mexico-bound cash transfers.
President Trump has remained consistent on his stance that Mexico will “pay for the wall.” One suggestion floated a while back was impounding Mexican migrant’s cash transfers to Mexico. With estimates of the wall coming in north of $12 billion and remittances totaling more than $26 billion in 2016, the idea has gained traction among certain conservatives. However, as the National Review points out, “banks and financial institutions” that make money off of the cash transfers would likely oppose this.
Trump supporters have suggested an alternative to impounding cash transfers:
As the National Review points out, Oklahoma charges a one percent fee on to wire transfers outside the state. As a result, the state brought in almost $20 million between 2013 and 2014. However, wire transfer companies oppose this idea due to the increase in fees paid.
Though monthly cash transfers usually drop after the holidays, the trend so far this year has been an increase. The Hill attributes this increase to the strong familial ties family members in Mexico have with those living in the U.S. And with deportations increasing, time is for many migrants is much more of a limited resource than money.
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