OCTOBER 29, 2007
Increased border security and work enforcement have led to a huge decrease in the billions of dollars that illegal immigrants in the U.S. send to Mexico annually and immigration advocates say Mexicans are suffering because they can’t pay medical bills or buy clothes.
The U.S.-dependent Mexican economy gets about $24 billion annually in remittances from migrants living and working in the U.S. illegally, but changes in immigration enforcement have reduced the cash flow and villages throughout Mexico are feeling the effect.
Immigration advocates paint the picture of dirt poor victims in Mexican towns who can’t afford basic medical care, food or even clothes for their children because the evil U.S. government is finally securing the southern border and demanding legal work documents.
A recent article in a major U.S. newspaper featured touching anecdotes of scared illegal immigrants intimidated by workplace raids and deportations indicative of a mounting anti-immigrant sentiment that has made it virtually impossible for Mexicans to reach the United States and land well-paying jobs.
Some are so afraid that they don’t even dare to cross the border illegally to look for work while others have decided to voluntarily return to Mexico. One man admitted that he quit his job at a Dallas window screen factory after hearing rumors that he would have to produce a valid Social Security number.
Others say that laws were never so tough, that in the past there were no consequences for entering the U.S. illegally and those caught were simply returned south. Word has spread quickly that now they lock you up, according to several illegal border crossers who say they can’t find work because no one wants to hire someday "without papers".
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