Family remittances hit a record high amid the COVID-19 pandemic 

Family remittances contribute to a large part of Mexico’s GDP

Family remittances hit a record high amid the COVID-19 pandemic 
Despite the pandemic, Mexican migrants in the U.S. continue to financially support their families in Mexico - Photo: César Gómez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 05/05/2020 09:11 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:28

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism has come to a halt, oil prices have collapsed; however, family remittances hit a record high in March.

These three categories are the main generators of resources in Mexico, although this time, remittances became the number one even when a decrease was expected. What is the reason behind this? For experts, there are at least two reasons: Mexican migrants in the U.S. got ahead bad times and sent more money to their families, and the majority of the sectors where the Mexican migrants work are still open, which means they are still earning money. 

In March, Mexican migrants sent USD $4,016 million, 35.8% more than in March 2019, according to the Banxico. Furthermore, this is a record number. 

This time, the money received by Mexican families has even more significance because it arrived in a time when the Mexican economy is suffering the effects of the quarantine and the paralyzation of non-essential activities. These remittances are important for families in need. 

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Behind the historical remittances number, we must also consider the risk Mexican migrants face to earn those resources. Firstly, they are living in the country that has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and thousands of them, mainly form Puebla, reside in New York, the most affected city in the U.S.

For those who immigrate to the U.S., it is common to share a room with many others to cut costs. As we know, overcrowded spaces and going out to work increase the risks of contracting COVID-19. 

According to numbers from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, until April 28 at least 566 Mexicans had died of COVID-19 in the U.S.; 488 of them died in New York. 

Amid the difficult times, they haven’t stopped supporting their families despite the difficulties and risks; however, not all of them have this possibility. It is urgent to identify those migrants who need help, who might be sick and need medical attention but can’t receive it since they are undocumented. They always help their families and now it is time for Mexico to help the vulnerable. The upcoming weeks will be complicated and Mexico must help its citizens living in the U.S.

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