Legal and illegal immigrants wired almost $140 billion from the United States back to their home countries and foreign relatives in 2016.
The huge loss of domestic spending by of immigrants’ remittances is spotlighted in a new report by the Pew Research Center, which also noted that $6.5 billion was sent back to the United States by foreign-based U.S. workers. That is a 21-fold difference and is enough money to support 2.6 million additional $50,000 jobs in the United States.
The remittance number is based on calculations by the World Bank.
The leading recipients of the exported remittances are people in Mexico, China, and India, reflecting the growing size of Chinese and Indian migration into the United States. Many of the Chinese and Indian migrants work in once-prestigious, but now lower-wage, white-collar science or computer jobs.
The annual drain of $140 billion is only 0.75 percent of the $18,624 billion U.S. economy in 2016. Also, the money does eventually zigzag its way back to the United States as foreign families spend those dollars to buy products, some of which are American.
But the huge scale of foreign remittances adds to the economic losses and redistributions imposed by the federal policy of goosing economic growth with the large-scale immigration of 1 million workers and consumers every year.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.
But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants (including roughly 750,000 working-age migrants), by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
While some of this money sent back home is from legal immigrants, the fact that there are illegal immigrants sucking millions of dollars out of the United States can be crippling to our economy. Thankfully, immigration is a massive issue for the current administration.