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Latin American Immigrant Money Transfers Reach $13 Billion Per Year

The El Paso Times reports that money transfers from Latin Americans living in America to people in their home countries have reached $13 billion per year. This information is contained in a report called Billions in Motion: Latino Immigrants published by Pew Hispanic Center at USC and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Among the interesting statistics revealed in this article and the underlying report:

  • 47 percent of Hispanic immigrants send money regularly.
  • 45 percent of Mexican immigrants send money, compared with 57 percent from El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
  • 60 percent are male; 59 percent are married; 59 percent have no high-school diploma; average age is 37.
  • 57 percent make less than $30,000 per year.

Among the demographics we would like to have seen reported:

  • percentage of remitters who are in the United States legally (either through legal immigration or amnesty).
  • percentage of remitters who have payroll taxes deducted from their wages, or who pay self employment taxes.
  • percentage of remitters who receive public assistance (in the form of Social Security, unemployment, AFDC, Medicare, Medicaid, or some other form of health-care subsidy).

Regardless of their immigration status, anyone transferring money to relatives or friends outside the United States should be paying taxes on any income earned while living here. If remitters are not paying taxes, then state and federal government agencies should not allow remittances to go through.

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