MEXICO CITY The amount of money sent home by
Mexican migrants living abroad rose to a record high in 2016,
driven by a slump in the peso as well as concerns that U.S.
President Donald Trump could block transfers to pay for his
planned border wall.
Remittances to Mexico totaled $26.97 billion in 2016, up
nearly 9 percent over 2015, and the highest ever according to
Mexican central bank figures that go back to 1995, data showed
Remittances rose by 6.2 percent in December compared with
the same month a year earlier to more than $2.3 billion. Most of
that came from the United States.
Remittances saw the biggest jump in 10 years in November
after Trump’s surprise election victory. Families of Mexican
migrants in central Mexico and migrants in Florida said concern
about what Trump could do in office had pushed some to send home
more money in November.
But Mexico’s peso saw a rocky year throughout 2016
and savvy migrants tend to send more money home following sharp
losses in the currency.
Remittances spiked in February, May, September and November,
all months when the peso saw sharp slumps against the dollar.
Since mid-2016, the peso began to be pressured by concerns that
Trump could win and restrict free trade with Mexico.
Trump, a Republican, ran a campaign steeped in anti-Mexican
rhetoric and threatened to halt transfers from Mexican nationals
unless Mexico agreed to pay for the wall he wants built on the
U.S. southern border to keep out illegal immigrants.
Mexico has said it will defend the free flow of remittances
and tariff-free commerce under the North American Free Trade
Agreement, which Trump says he will dump if he cannot
renegotiate it to American advantage.
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