Are Latin American immigrants transferring back less money to their families? A study by the Inter-American Development Bank finds that it really depends on the state. California immigrants will send $14.6 billion this year, which is an increase. But there are drops, in percentage terms, in Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. The study finds that all immigrants are having a tougher time finding a good paying job (almost 40 percent said they were earning less this year). Not helping is that many of these folks work in construction, which of course has been slumping. Another factor cited is the increased anti-immigrant sentiment. Here is a release on the study. From the NYT:
A large majority of the Latino immigrants in the survey — whether or not they were illegal — said they experienced increasing hostility as a result of federal and state efforts to curb illegal immigration and punish employers who hire unauthorized immigrant workers. In the survey, 61 percent of Latinos who were American citizens and 66 percent of those who were legal immigrants said that discrimination had become a major problem for them.
Among immigrants who have been here less than five years, 49 percent said they were thinking of returning home, while only 41 percent said they planned to remain in the United States. Overall, just under one-third of the immigrants said they were thinking of leaving this country. In 2001, the last time a similar survey asked a comparable question, about 20 percent of all the immigrants interviewed said they were thinking of going home. But Latino immigrant workers who participated in focus groups as part of the survey said they were not ready to leave the United States quite yet, said Sergio Bendixen, the Miami-based pollster who conducted the survey. Instead of going home, the immigrants said they were taking jobs at lower wages or sometimes working two jobs to try to maintain their income, he said.