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Mexicans in US fear ban on money transfers back home

As the countdown begins to the Trump presidency in the US, anxiety is building in neighbouring Mexico

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Mexicans in US fear ban on money transfers back home

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As the countdown begins to the Trump presidency in the US, anxiety is building in neighbouring Mexico as people there wait to see how their lives might be affected.

People are worried about the President-elect’s campaign promises to crack down on undocumented workers and build a border wall with Mexico.

And there is also the threat of a ban on Mexicans in the US sending money home, unless Mexico helps to pay for the wall.

In Ixmiquilpan in Hidalgo state, Monica Arroyo, the mother of a man who moved to Florida, told reporters: “If we have to survive alone, there’s almost no money here, hardly anything, hardly any work.

“So if they send our emigrants back here, there’ll be more poverty because over there they have work, they help us, they send us a little bit.”

It is estimated migrants in the US sent the equivalent of 26 billion euros to Mexico last year, a record figure.

And there was a big increase in the amount sent in the past few months, in anticipation of a possible money transfer ban.

In Florida, an employee in a money transfer business, Maria de la Luz Pioquinto, said: “The majority know that at any moment there could be a law that stops them from being here and they’ll have to go home.

“It’s not only Mexico, there are people from Salvador, Honduras and other countries, everyone is almost in the same situation. But it’s worse for the Mexicans because there are many more.”

Money transfers into Mexico represent a large part of the economy, much more than its earnings for oil exports or manufactured goods.

And at the moment no one knows for sure to what extent Trump could change all that.