The Mexican Central Bank reported an 18.7% drop in April in money sent from Mexicans working in the United States. The large drop is compared to remittances from a year ago, and the bank reports that it's the largest single month drop since they began tracking the transfers.
Remittances have been dropping sharply since 2007, correlating with the U.S. recession and the end to the construction boom. Over the first four months of 2009, remittances overall have fallen by 8.7%. Roughly $1.8 billion was transferred from the United States to Mexico in April.
Economists said that several other factors are contributing to the drop in remittances. Fewer Mexicans are illegally crossing the border because of better enforcement and the lack of jobs. Also, those that are in the country aren't working as much or are working for less. Another reason cited is that illegal aliens are paying taxes anticipating an amnesty.
“We are seeing the aggravation of all these trends,” Economist Eliseo Díaz González said. “With opportunities for employment in the United States shutting off, we cannot continue to export labor to the United States anymore. The prize for migrating no longer exists.”
For more on this story, see the New York Times.