Mexican immigrants in the United States are sending far less money home than they did before the recession began, the Pew Research Center reported Friday.
Remittances to many other countries in South and Central America have recovered, Pew's Hispanic Trends Project found. Immigrants from other Spanish-speaking countries are expected to send $31.8 billion to their families this year, slightly more than they did in 2008 when remittances were at their prerecession peak.
Mexicans are the largest immigrant group in the United States and are responsible for about 40 percent of total remittances to Latin America. They are expected to send $22 billion home this year, 29 percent less than they did in 2006, the year Mexican remittances were at their peak.
The report suggested there are a number of reasons for this drop. Many Mexicans work in construction, which has not completely recovered from the housing crash, and the number of Mexican immigrants in the United States has fallen because of the poor job outlook, increased deportations and stepped-up border control.
Remittances have rebounded to Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru, Pew said. They are still down in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Ecuador.