Thursday, October 19, 2006

Missing in the debate: global economics

On Wednesday, the Inter-American Development Bank released a report that shows that Latin American migrants working in the United States will send around $45 billion to their home countries this year, up from some $30 billion in 2004. That's a growth of 51 percent in two years. About 12.6 million Latin American-born migrants now send an average of $300 every month that assists more than 20 million households or 80 million people in Latin America.

The Miami Herald interviewed Sergio Bendixen, of the polling firm Bendixen and Associates that conducted the survey for IDB. He warned that if the United States shuts its door to Hispanic immigrants, as Congress is attempting to do, the U.S. economy would be ''close to collapse.'' IDB officials pointed out to the Miami Herald that about 90 percent of the income received by Latin America-born migrants stays in the United States, or about $460 billion.

IDB also reported that households in Latin America receive more than $60 billion annually from remittances worldwide, a number that dwarfs what countries receive in aid from the U.S. government or such institutions as the World Bank.


Print out or send the weblink of the IDB report to your Congressional representatives and senators. Tell them that immigration has an impact on more than just Americans. Tell them that they should consider what affect cutting off these remittances would have on 20 million families or 80 million people in Latin America. International economic factors have been missing from the debate and we need true leadership that will look at the big picture.