Thursday, May 23, 2024

Latino Immigrants and their Familes Suffering in the Midst of the Economic Crisis

latino-immigrantsWhile unemployment affects all segments of the population, legal and undocumented Latino workers have been particularly hard hit. The Hispanic unemployment rate hit 8.8 percent in October, outpacing the national figure of 6.5 percent.

The rising joblessness coincides with slowing remittance rates, delivering another blow to Latin American economies. These economies both depend heavily on money from immigrants. Remittances decreased worldwide from a 16 percent annual increase in 2007 down to only seven percent in 2008. In October, the Inter-American Development Bank forecasted that this year, for the first time since 2000, remittances to Latin America would decrease in value when adjusted for inflation.

The Americas Society, an organization dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas, reports that Latin American migrants to the United States find themselves contemplating the idea of returning home. They are facing difficulties holding down jobs in hard-hit sectors such as construction as well as stiffer immigration enforcement that include random workplace raids. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Latin American immigrants are moving back home and notes that even circular migration across the border may drop as Mexicans return home permanently.

The Foreign Minister of Mexico, Patricia Espinosa, recently stated,” We have to face the possibility of a very large number of Mexicans coming home.” She added, “Currently, the government is trying to prepare schools and social agencies for an influx of poor migrants.”

The America’s Quarterly, a publication of the Americas Society, recently released their post-election edition which features a series of essays titled, Memos to the President Elect. In that edition, the leaders of Latin American countries encourage the President- Elect to build stronger ties with the region as well as how the U.S economic turmoil has affected Latin America.

The Arizona Republic

Americas Society


  1. Carlos Macias says

    You can find additional coverage on how the economic downturn affected the pockets of millions of Latino immigrants in the U.S. here: