The New Foreign Aid

Annually $billions cross the border from fields, factories, hotels, restaurants and construction sites throughout the United States to the pockets of families throughout Mexico.   Remittances are Mexico’s second or third largest industry in a nation that has been unable or unwilling to check the emigration of millions of its citizens who seek relief from chronic corruption and subsistence wages.  But remittances are a shockingly efficient form of foreign aid that really, really works.  I followed bank transfers and money orders from Los Angeles and the Salinas Valley of California to the hands of 2 grandmothers and 2 wives in Oaxaca, Mexico, whose survival depended on them.

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