Migrants’ Remittances Drain $150 Billion a Year from Economy

Article subtitle: 
America Loses $150 Billion Annually in Remittances
Article author: 
Matthew O’Brien, Spencer Raley and Casey Ryan
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
22 May 2019
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

... A 2015 analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center concluded that there are roughly 45 million foreign-born individuals currently living in the United States. Those foreign-born individuals typically have a large network of family, friends and colleagues who remain abroad. When those associates are residing in a country with an economy that is less robust than the United States, there is often a strong impetus to send money overseas to support them.

The net result is that ­workers are sending roughly $150 billion out of the U.S. economy each year. That money is not spent on goods or services in the United States. As a result, it is not subjected to sales taxes, excise taxes, restaurant taxes, etc. In addition, neither the vast majority of states nor the federal government impose a tax on overseas money transfers. The loss of tax revenue – that could be used to pay for a large number of public services consumed by aliens in the United States – is staggering.
According to a Gallup poll in 2011, 10 percent or more of households in 35 countries rely on income from family members or friends who reside in another country. This study will examine why so many foreign households rely on income earned in the United States, and how much the American economy suffers as a result....
Remittance payments are just one more way that unchecked mass migration hits average Americans in the wallet....
According to 2017 data gathered by the Census Bureau, the median annual income for a household headed by someone born in the United States is roughly $61,987. On the other hand, households headed by someone born outside the United States earn approximately $57,273. That may seem like a small difference. However, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, 63 percent of non-citizen households access welfare programs, compared to 35 percent of native households do. That means immigrants are more likely to consume public services, but due to lower incomes, pay a smaller share of the costs for those services....
Many nations rely heavily on remittances. In fact, remittances make up 10 percent or more of the total GDP in approximately 35 countries....
Every year, foreign-born individuals living in the U.S. remit just under $150 billion from the United States to other countries. That amounts to more than 24 percent of the total amount remitted from host countries worldwide. Mexico is the primary beneficiary of U.S. remittance transfers, receiving just over $30 billion from the U.S. economy in 2017. In comparison, Americans residing abroad only sent home around $6.6 billion in 2017, meaning the U.S. economy lost a net of $144.5 billion....
Read the full report: The United States Loses $150 Billion Annually in Remittances, by Matthew O’Brien, Spencer Raley and Casey Ryan, May 2019.
CAIRCO Research