September 12, 2007
Immigrants Boycott Western Union
Many immigrants send remittances to their homeland, which has become important to the economies of a number of devoloping nations. High tech banking, and the willingness of banks to open checking and other accounts to immigrants lacking U.S. identification, such as a driver's license, has made such transfers easier. But some undocumented immigrants do it the old fashioned way -- wiring money. In Southern California, for example, Latinos have long depended on electronic transfers to send money for food, medical care and education to their families back home. The L.A. Times reports that immigrant advocacy groups from around the country now are accusing Western Union, the largest U.S. money-transfer company, of charging exorbitant fees while failing to adequately reinvest in immigrant communities. On Monday, the groups launched a nationwide boycott of Western Union, demanding that the Englewood, Colo.-based money-transfer giant lower its fees and put some of its profit back into the communities that use its services.
The Migration Policy Institute recently released a "fact sheet" on remittances to Mexican States that shows that, in 2006, Mexico received an estimated $24.5 billion in remittances -- 11.3 percent of the total $276 billion in remittances worldwide. While migrant remittances to Mexico grew an average of 19.1 percent annually between 2003 and 2006, they increased by just 0.6 percent in the first half of 2007 compared to the first half of 2006. The MPI fact sheet provides a first look at changes in remittances to Mexico by state for 2003 to 2007, highlighting the states that may be most severely affected by a slowdown in money coming in from migrants abroad in the first six months of 2007.
September 12, 2007 | Permalink
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Posted by: Youssef | Sep 13, 2007 10:24:24 AM
".......while failing to adequately reinvest in immigrant communities."
By what moral or business obligation are private businesses required to invest in any community, let alone one comprised mainly of illegal aliens? Let them boycott. By now the wire transfer agencies have seen the handwriting on the wall that the income from these illicit visitors will dry up with their deportations.
Posted by: Horace | Sep 16, 2007 5:11:40 AM