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    Linked in the title is a long overdue tale that describes in short detail the facts surrounding foreign remittances, explains that they are, like it has long been suspected, a huge source of income for other countries and, if you have the foresight to extrapolate the outcome of this trend, foretells the destruction of Americas middle class.

    Today, remittances are the largest, fastest-growing and most reliable source of income for developing countries. Poor nations received $167 billion from overseas workers last year, according to the World Bank, more than all foreign aid.

    According to the World Bank, the number of international migrants swelled from 120 million to 175 million during the 1990s, and the sums they send home each year have more than tripled in this decade.
    Fed by millions of such transactions, Mexico's annual remittance inflow has doubled since 2002 and reached $20 billion last year, second only to petroleum as a generator of wealth for the country.

    Other developing nations also depend heavily on their migrants' money. Brazilian laborers in Japan send home more than $2 billion a year, out-earning their country's coffee exports. Remittances bring in more than tea exports do in Sri Lanka and tourism in Morocco.

    So on the backs of exploited, low wage laborers third world countries raise their standard of living, but not by exploiting them at home, for there is not a market to do that in their home countries. Instead their citizens immigrate to other countries and work cheaply, sending money home to better the lives of their families. A noble thing, I will grant you, but a practice that is most assuredly hurting our country. That is money that is taken out of our communities to be used elsewhere, and low age laborers, especially of the "illegal" variety, depress wages for the legal citizens of the communities that they invade.

    One end of the lifeline is the field near Salinas where Erasmo Alonzo started work before dawn one morning.

    For eight years, he had been stooping over those fields for up to 10 hours a day, reaping a chronic back pain that felt "like an ugly wound." But on that July morning, he moved as nimbly as his youthful co-workers as they extracted row after row of lettuce from the soil with 12-inch knives.

    Alonzo had been off the day before, a Sunday, and devoted part of the day to the ritual that defined his purpose in America: wiring money home to Mexico.

    "It is a struggle to get a decent amount together, but I send $500 every two or three months," he said. On this Sunday, he had wired home $200 and paid 10% in commission to a licensed agent of AFEX, a worldwide transfer company.

    The companies that transfer the money are raking in the profits hand over fist, and certainly wouldn't mind seeing an even greater amount of money transferred through their service. One must wonder how much their lobbyists make and how big an impact they have on immigration legislation.

    The people that make up a main focus of the story are Erasmo Alonzo and his wife Catalina Sanchez. He went to California to pick lettuce because he had no job prospect in his home town, and when he was hurt, she came up and worked the fields with him for three years. More telling is this:

    One by one, the couple's two sons and two daughters joined the seasonal clandestine treks to California, picking lettuce for $7.29 an hour and contributing to the family's $800-a-month apartment in Salinas.

    An entire family, sneaking into this country, working, sending money back to their home town. Not one mention of "I came to America because I love it and I want to be an American." This is simply a case of theft. Not the classic example of theft, which is stealing something from someone who has earned it, but a more pernicious form of theft. This form of theft appears to be simply a case of people trying to survive, but one can liken it to a thief that breaks in and cooks your dinner, while handing the contents of your cabinet out the window and then doing the dishes before he leaves. Sure, you had dinner and the kitchen is clean, but what are you gonna make for breakfast now that all of your food has gone out the window and the cook left?

    Foreign remittances are draining our economy. The people that send this money home are, it seems, here for one reason and one reason only, to work and send money home, and they don't seem to want to be an American and are most likely criminal (illegal) aliens in the vast majority of cases. Remember the vast seas of foreign flags in attendance during the early rallies and marches against immigration reform? Sure, they switched to American flags in the more recent marches, but that is not because they wish to be an American citizen and take part in our country on an equal footing. It is because they have a good PR team telling them that they are angering the very people that should be angry they have snuck into our country and ignored our laws and perhaps because with "legal" status they can make even more money to send home.

    Think about this. If you could work in another country, doing menial labor, making far more than you are now, and send it home for someone to invest and use to give yourself and your family a better life, would you do it? Of course you would. It is simply human nature to try to make things as easy on yourself and those you care about, and doing that is much easier than actually immigrating here legally and trying to stand toe to toe with people that have a better grasp of the language and better contacts in the community.

    Many criminal aliens have no incentive to stay here and become an American citizen. Why would they? Right now they can sneak in almost at will, and face no real consequences for breaking our law, and the benefit is they can make themselves much richer at home.

    If these people are given amnesty and allowed to work here as long as they wish another side effect comes into play that doesn't get enough attention; Social Security. If remittances are propping up the economies of these countries now, imagine what it would be once many of these criminal aliens are allowed to start drawing Social Security in a few years. A Social Security check that here in the U.S. would be barely enough to allow you to scrape by every month would allow you to live quite well in many third world countries.

    Imagine the hit to the SS fund when 10 million checks start heading out to third world countries because their citizens had the balls to break our laws and sneak in here to depress our wages and our elected officials didn't have the balls to enforce our laws and realize that the money made within these borders should stay within them, not be funneled out to people that will spend that money there. In effect, money sent abroad to a "retiree" would stay in the community that that person lives in, and not here in the United States. Figuring that the SS payment now is, from the limited and short survey of people I know on Social Security, about $550.00, and we are looking (hypothetically) at 30 years in the future, the payment will probably be higher, (say 750.00) and even one million checks going out every month would put the figure at SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!!!!

    That is, in this lowball estimate, almost 8 BILLION A YEAR!!!

    Admittedly, that is not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, considering that right now criminal aliens reportedly cost us in excess of 50 billion a year, but any money that we send out of the country is money that is no longer circulating through our communities, and it is the circulation of this money, the constant earn and spend that makes a middle class large and powerful.

    That we are slowly losing this middle class is an indication that things are seriously flawed with the policies and procedures that are being followed, or more rightly, not followed. The fact that our government appears unwilling to change this circumstance should call into question just who they are working for; you, the American citizen or the criminal aliens that would steal our greatness.
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