Remittances and Migrants

No matter what it’s for, 50 billion dollars is a very large sum. And when it is the amount of money that migrants have sent home  to their families in Mexico, it is astounding. Migrants in this case include legal  as well as undocumented. The amount has surged during Covid, and the total for 2021 is expected—not all tallied yet—to pass $50 billion. Mexico is one of three countries along with China and India where total  remittances are large enough to be a part of the economy. In 2020 those remittances represented 3.8% of the Mexican GDP and the percentage of households  it reached was 5.1%. Bearing in mind that the people sending these remittances are often not high earners and the total is even more astounding.  It evokes people making sacrifices for their family, enduring deprivations  to share what they have. It means living in cramped quarters and foregoing little luxuries, or perhaps even something that’s a need. The money sent home usually goes for necessities, such as food and medical expenses. It also goes for items  like a refrigerator, an appliance that actually helps people save money on food. Placed in context the existence of remittances is not a fact that is without issues, how long can sending remittances last? Or when will Mexico no longer be dependent upon them?  Adding to the poignancy of remittances is also the fact that many of the families live in violence prone areas of the country and have to be very careful not to let it be known they receive money. They could then be prey for gangs and be kidnapped for ransom. Regardless of these issues, or perhaps even more so because of them, what jumps out to someone like me is the sheer goodness of the people behind the remittances, people who put their families first, people who undergo hardships to share what they have, people who are courageous, devoted, resilient, people we should honor a lot more than we do.

One thought on “Remittances and Migrants”

Comments are closed.