Mexicans working in the US are
sending less money back to Mexico. In 2007, 64 percent are sending money home.
In 2006 the figure was 71 percent. This translates into roughly a half million
fewer workers sending a portion of their paychecks back to families south of
the border. Why is this important? First of all the Mexican economy takes hit.
Remittances, as they are called, are an important source of hard currency in
many developing nations. This holds true for Mexico. This doesn't receive a lot
of attention in the US, but the Mexican government knows the "hard currency"
inflow is important. The drop in remittances may also indicate that many
Mexican migrants are keeping their money in the US because of possible changes
in US immigration law. This is a very iffy assessment, but one immigration bill
would fine illegal immigrants as part of creating a "path to legitimacy."
August 14, 2007: The US and Mexico continue to
discuss ways to cooperate in Mexico's war on the drug cartels. Several weeks
ago Mexican authorities broached the issue of improving the way the US and Mexico
share intelligence. Providing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was one of the
possible ways the US could help Mexico. The US may also help Mexico with
improved electronic surveillance capabilities (eg, cell phone interception).
Mexico has requested money for training Mexican police to use many of the
communication and surveillance systems that are already commonly used by US
police forces. Using similar communications equipment would definitely improve
cross-border cooperation. Mexico could also use new helicopters and more of
them. In fact, they could make use of the helicopters right now. "Loaning" US
aircraft to Mexico might be something US and Mexican officials will be
August 10, 2007: The American military needs more
money to keep National Guard troops posted along the U.S.-Mexican during 2008.
Though the US government plans to begin reducing the number of Guardsmen
serving along the border, this"Operation Jump Start" is supposed to be funded
at least through July 2008. The Pentagon estimates that will cost a little over
$300 million. So far the funds have not been allocated. The National Guard has
between 5,000 and 6,000 troops involved in Jump Start.