Remittances – How much money will the US send abroad this year?

We always talk about immigration, but what about our money and what the immigrants are doing with the funds they earn within our borders?  Many immigrants or illegal aliens earn money in the US and then send money abroad to their family or friends, these funds are known as remittances.  So the tax breaks for the lower income that are aimed at helping those families spend dollars to generate our economy doesn’t necessarily help increase the purchasing power of lower income families in America – it helps families in India, China and the Philippines (the top 3 recipients of migrant remittances in 2012).

Remittances from the US to developing countries were calculated to reach $406 billion in 2012, with the expectation of an increase of 8% in 2013.  Imagine how much $406 billion dollars of additional purchases or spending in America would have helped our economy grow this past year?  We are sending valuable dollars abroad that need to stay here and be spent in America.

Sarah Curry

Sarah Curry is Director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the John Locke Foundation.

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