July 17, 2009
For decades, money sent home by Mexicans laboring in the United States has been a key pillar of the Mexican economy. Now, scattered reports are surfacing of Mexicans sending money to support relatives in the United States hard hit by the economic crisis north of the border. Latinos, especially immigrants, are suffering a disproportionate share of the joblessness that is officially rising to engulf close to 10 percent of the overall US population.
According to Chihuahua state tourism department official Demetrio Sotomayor Cuellar, a 21 percent decrease over last year in the number of "paisanos" (Mexican immigrants traveling home for visits) crossing the Chihuahua border from June 26 to July 14 led officials to investigate the visitor drop. In the course of the probe, Sotomayor said, officials ran across unusual reports in the hands of Mexico's Interior Ministry.
Much to their surprise, officials learned that some Mexicans were financially sustaining migrant relatives. [...]
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