News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Worth billions, remittances to Mexico are big business

April 14, 2008 - 5:07PM


EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was reported from Tempe, Ariz., and Veracruz and Jalisco, Mexico.

As he has done most every week for eight years, Pedro Cordova Martinez steps into El Paisano Mercado, a convenience store near his home in Tempe, Ariz., and makes his way to the back. There he encounters two cashiers standing behind a glass panel, waiting for the end-of-the-week rush.

His hands are caked with grime. Dirt has permanently darkened fingernails that reach into his pocket and pull out $100 in cash, which Martinez hands to one of the women working the counter.

The cash is just about all of the paycheck he earns working at his job in the plumbing industry.

Martinez, 21, instructs the woman to send the money to San Isidro, Veracruz, Mexico, to the mother and father he has not seen since he entered the United States illegally in 1999.

Every week, it is the same routine.

"I'm trying to make a more better life," he said in broken English.
His parents are grateful for the money, he said. "It's $100 here, but 1,000 pesos there. It's a lot of money."

Martinez is one of 6.6 million Mexican citizens living and working in the United States who send money, known as remittances, back to their families.

More than $23 billion flowed from the United States to Mexico in 2006, and a little more than that was expected to be transferred in 2007, according to the InterAmerican Development Bank.

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