Mexicans working in the U.S. sent record amounts of money to relatives back home last year, illustrating the resilience of the U.S. economy despite the shutdowns imposed to fight the pandemic. Remittances rose 11% to $36.9 billion in the first 11 months of the year, more than the record $36.4 billion sent in all of 2019.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria estimates that there are some 39 million people of Mexican origin in the U.S. including immigrants, U.S.-born residents with Mexican parents, and third- or later-generation U.S. citizens of Mexican descent. Many activities in which migrants are employed didn’t shut down completely in the U.S., such as construction, gardening and agriculture, and a significant number of migrants were eligible for unemployment benefits under the U.S. government’s stimulus plan, said Alfredo Coutiño, the director for Latin America at Moody’s Analytics. And because of the crises in their home countries, migrants faced the need to send more money to their relatives, he added.