Immigrants sending a fortune out of the US

Your tax dollars:

Every time you turn around there is some new angle on this issue of immigrants, refugees and mass migration.  This time its Remittances—the money immigrants send home and out of the US economy.    According to this article in the Washington Times yesterday, we really did not have a handle on how large a problem this was until after 9/11 when we began tracking terrorist financing.

The US lost a staggering $41 billion in 2005 alone ($22 billion went to Mexico), and according to this article much of it untaxed.  I guess it’s no surprise that the US has the largest outflow of money in the world. 

The article also touches on the concern many  leaders of the world’s less well-off countries have and that is the brain drain issue.  Actually this is something I’ve been wondering about—if everyone wants to live in the US, how will other countries ever improve the condition of their people?   And, if they improve largely because of remittances from the US, won’t that eventually kill that goose laying the golden eggs?

Globally, remittances — the cash that immigrants send home — totaled nearly $276 billion in 2006, according to the World Bank. Remittances have more than doubled since 2000, and with globalization increasing the number of people on the move, there’s no end in sight.

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Analysts tracking the phenomenon said they have gotten a much clearer picture since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when authorities trying to cut the flow of cash to jihadists began taking a harder look at how immigrants move their money around.

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 Mass migration, they say, has spawned an underground economy of staggering proportions.  

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There are other downsides: fears of brain drains and a vast permanent army of economic exiles, and the untaxed earnings flowing out of host nations.

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 The U.S. lost $41.1 billion in 2005, according to the World Bank…

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Mexicans wire home the most cash — nearly $22 billion — most of it earned in the U.S.

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Much of the world’s migration is illegal, and although many immigrants work at menial jobs, some are doctors, engineers and other professionals. Their departure can mean a brain drain of highly trained personnel and create an immigration culture.

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