Study Suggests Remittances Figures Are Underestimated

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Remittances from the United States to Mexico are higher than many figures suggest, according to a new study.

The study, commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank and Pew Hispanic Center, suggests that remittances from Mexicans in the United States total $14.5 billion, while Mexico's central bank estimates that remittances are on track to reach $12 billion in American money by the end of the year.

Juan Hernandez, a former cabinet member in the Mexican government who has gone to work for the Texas league, said the remittances are the No. 2 source of income for Mexico.

"It is true that Mexicans on this side of the border are helping to fuel the economy in Mexico, but they are also helping to fuel the economy in the United States," said Hernandez. "Approximately 10-15% of their paycheck is sent home to Mexico, and the remaining, 85-90% stays right here in the U.S."

Approximately 18% of Mexico's population reportedly receives regular remittances from the United States. The beneficiaries of remittances are concentrated in five Mexican states: Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas. But the new study also found a "high degree of movement of remittances" in the rest of the country.

While Hernandez said he is "grateful" that Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank and others have opened their doors to the Hispanic market, "I am a credit union member and I strongly believe that credit unions are best suited to serve this market- credit unions were after all started by immigrants."

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