PHOENIX (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic stopped work for nearly a month at the California farm where Luis earns $80 a day picking tomatoes, but that didn’t stop him from sending $800 to family in Mexico.
The money had traveled far by the time he was back at work in June. It kept his family fed, funded his father’s hernia operation and paid for other medical expenses.
Early in the pandemic, experts predicted that migrant workers in the U.S. like 32-year-old Luis — who didn’t want his last name used for fear of losing his job and being deported — would wire home less money as the virus hammered the American economy. But those predictions didn’t materialize for workers from Mexico, who have sent home huge amounts of money, called remittances.
In August, their payments amounted to $3.57 billion, according to the Bank of Mexico, the second-highest level on record