News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

US acceptance of refugees by the millions has enabled tyrannical and incompetent governments around the world for decades. Normal consequence of bad government can't take place because US is always there to take the pressure off. Corrupt governments appreciate this service--Johnson, Human Events, Feb. 2005

"Normally, bad government is unstable government. When a government makes a substantial part of its population destitute or unhappy, it can expect them to work against that government, first as individuals and over time as political parties, gangs--or even armies. But with America close-by to absorb the most unhappy, bad governments have found a release for those segments of their populations they most fear: the poor, the ambitious, the disgruntled."
b. 2005 article (during Vicente Fox administration):
Feb. 8, 2005, "Vicente Fox, Labor Pimp," Human Events, Mac Johnson
"Mexico’s president, Vicente Fox, has made increasing the flow of his people out of Mexico and into America his highest priority in his relationship with the US. His expressed desire is that the border should pretty much cease to exist — at least for Northbound traffic. He would prefer that America voluntarily acquiesce to his desire to depopulate his nation’s poorest neighborhoods, but he is also prepared to achieve this depopulation unilaterally. Mexican consulates brazenly issue official-looking ID cards to illegal aliens in the U.S. to help them appear legitimate to employers and banks.
And, infamously, the Mexican government recently published a "how-to-guide" for those wishing to illegally smuggle themselves into the United States. In poignant testament to the extent to which Mexico’s government has utterly failed its people, the guide was issued in comic book form, to facilitate its use by the illiterate....
The attitude of Mexico’s rulers to this chronic exodus now appears to have changed to something more like “Good riddance”. Apparently, they believe every Mexican that leaves Mexico is a Mexican they don’t have to solve any problems for....
The merits of mass immigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico into the US are a source of constant discussion in America. But consider, for just a moment, what the situation must look like from the other side of the broken border. With his enthusiastic support for emigration by the tens of millions, Vicente Fox has essentially said to his people “My best idea for Mexico is to send Mexicans someplace where people have better ideas.” Apparently, Mr. Fox lacks the “vision thing”. Imagine if President Bush’s plan for economic recovery in the last recession had been exporting the unemployed. (But the situation in Mexico is worse than that, because not only do Fox’s policies inspire no outrage, they are popular. When told by their government that perhaps they should just give up and leave, the response of many Mexicans is simply to agree--a sad state of affairs.)
The motivation of Mexico’s leader in becoming an active accessory to the transnational smuggling of his country’s labor force is not just that Mexico is
economically dependent upon the dollars that expatriate Mexicans wire home each month (although that motivation should not be discounted). Also at play is his desire to take advantage of a little commented-upon effect that America has had on the world for decades. America's acceptance of refugees by the millions has made it, effectively, the safety valve for tyrannical and incompetent governments the world over. 
Normally, bad government is unstable government. When a government makes a substantial part of its population destitute or unhappy, it can expect them to work against that government, first as individuals and over time as political parties, gangs — or even armies. But with America close-by to absorb the most unhappy, bad governments have found a release for those segments of their populations they most fear: the poor, the ambitious, the disgruntled.
America, of course, does not see itself this way. Our motives for accepting the huddled masses may not be entirely pure, but among these is not the desire to stabilize failure abroad. However, the rulers of other countries recognize the service America unwittingly provides. The most flagrant proof of this was the Mariel boatlift in 1980, in which Fidel Castro organized a mass exodus of 125,000 Cubans from the port of Mariel, Cuba, to Florida. These refugees included common criminals and the mentally ill released from Cuban jails and asylums (Cuba’s “universal healthcare” apparently has it limits), but the overwhelming majority of the migrants were simply the proverbial poor yearning to be free –exactly the sort of people Castro could not depend upon to help maintain his oppressive rule. Castro may claim to detest the fact that Florida is just 90 miles away from the shores of his communist paradise, but if it weren’t, his regime might have ended long ago. Florida is full of the Cubans who would most like to change Cuba. They do Castro little harm in Miami. 
Most nations are not so obvious in their use of the safety valve, but America is filled with diverse immigrants who do little to agitate the status quo in their homelands, and the ruling classes in these lands were not sad to see them go.
Mexico is a far cry from Cuba and Vicente Fox is certainly no Castro. But he understands the many ways in which shunting his discontented poor out of the country benefit him and his political allies. 
There is no shame in poverty and no sin in seeking work, but there is something unseemly in a leader who sees people as a product for export. In all the discussion of the immigration issue, the one aspect I have not seen bluntly assessed is what a failed and myopic leader Vicente Fox is. In America, men are made rich and families are well fed by the energetic labor of Mexicans. An admirable Mexican government would set about reforming the country so that that same energetic Mexican labor could create riches and feed families inside Mexico. Fox’s government simply wants to avoid the issue, preserve the established power structure, and make sure it gets a cut when Mexico’s workforce auctions itself off to more efficient economies. Seeing his people forced to sell their labors abroad, Fox simply wants to act as pimp on the sale....

The current (2005) administration of Mexico has apparently decided to support the wholesale export of its people to America as a desirable economic policy.

The stream of economic refugees that has flowed northward from Mexico for sixty years was once a source of embarrassment for the ruling elite of Mexico –obvious evidence that Mexico was so poorly-governed and corrupt that its people’s best hope for a better life lay in escape to America."...  


Added:  Jan. 2008: Officials from Mexican state of Sonora complain to US state of Arizona (whose Gov. then was Janet Napolitano) that they can't afford to take back Mexican illegal aliens working in Arizona, can't handle demands for housing and schools they'd create. (All sides accept that US taxpayers have no country and are global slaves).

1/16/2008, "Sonoran officials slam sanctions law in Tucson visit," Tucson Citizen, by Sheryl Kornman

"A delegation of nine state legislators from Sonora was in Tucson on Tuesday to say Arizona’s new employer sanctions law will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state

At a news conference, the legislators said Sonora – Arizona’s southern neighbor, made up of mostly small towns – cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers here return to their hometowns without jobs or money. 

The law, which took effect Jan.1, punishes employers who knowingly hire individuals who don’t have valid legal documents to work in the United States. Penalties include suspension or loss of a business license. 

Its intent is to eliminate or curtail the top draw for immigrants to this country – jobs. 

The Mexican delegation, members of Sonora’s 58th Legislature, belong to the National Action Party (PAN), the party of Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón. 

They spoke at the offices of Project PPEP, a nonprofit that provides job retraining for farmworkers and other programs. 

The lawmakers were to travel to Phoenix for a Wednesday breakfast meeting with Hispanic legislators. 

They want to tell them how the law will affect Mexican families on both sides of the border. 

“How can they pass a law like this?” asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano Gamez, who represents Nogales. 

“There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona,” she said in Spanish.
“Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems” it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs, she said. 

“We are one family, socially and economically,” she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona. 

Amparano said the Mexican legislators are already asking the federal government of Mexico for help for Sonora. 

Rep. Florencio Diaz Armenta, coordinator of the delegation, represents San Luis, south of Yuma, one of Arizona’s agricultural hubs, which employs some 28,000 legal Mexican workers. 

What do we do with the repatriated?” he asked. “As Mexicans, we are worried. They are Mexicans but they are also people – fathers and mothers and young people with jobs” who won’t have work in Sonora.” 

He said the Arizona law will lead to “disintegration of the family,” as one “legal” Mexican parent remains in Arizona and the other returns to Mexico. 

Rep. Francisco Garcia Gámez, a legislator from Cananea and that city’s former mayor, said the lack of mining jobs there has driven many Mexicans to Arizona to find work. He said they depend on jobs in Arizona to feed their families on both sides of the border.
Gov. Janet Napolitano, in her State of the State speech Monday, said the new law needs some modifications, including a better definition of what constitutes a complaint. 

Barrett Marson, director of communications for the Arizona House of Representatives, said Speaker Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix, “has some concerns about how the law will be administered and applied.”
He said the speaker sought testimony from the business community last fall “to get ideas about how to make following the law easier. In the end, that’s what he wants – compliance, but make it as easy as possible to do.” 

Marson said Weiers iswaiting for the governor to come out with her idea of what she wants to dobefore he makes his own recommendations."


Added: Mexico's #2 source of revenue in 2015 was remittances sent from the US, money earned by Mexicans in the US and wired home:

Feb. 2, 2016, "The Bank of Mexico says money sent home by Mexicans overseas hit nearly $24.8 billion last year, overtaking oil revenues as a source of foreign income for the first time," AP via US News, Mexico City
"The central bank reported Tuesday that money sent home by Mexicans overseas hit nearly $24.8 billion last year, overtaking oil revenues for the first time as a source of foreign income.  

Remittances were up 4.75 percent from 2014 when they totaled $23.6 billion, the Bank of Mexico said. They had never before surpassed petroleum since the Bank of Mexico began tracking them in 1995.

Analysts pointed to slumping global prices for oil, which earned Mexico $23.4 billion in 2015, and improved economic conditions in the United States, home to more than 11 million Mexicans and the source of nearly all Mexico's remittances.

"There is an advance in the recovery of the U.S. economy that has a very high correlation to jobs available for immigrants, and that has a very important impact on the amount of money they send to Mexico," said Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director for Moody's Analytics.

Alejandro Cervantes, an economist with Grupo Financiero Banorte, said remittances' rise over oil reflects an economy that has diversified since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994.

"Before NAFTA the flow of petroleum exports represented nearly 80 percent of the total dollar income for the Mexican economy," Cervantes said, noting that today it is less than 20 percent. "The lesson is that the Mexican economy, on the whole, is no longer so dependent on oil."
Manufacturing exports are currently Mexico's No. 1 source of foreign income."


Added: US Federal Reserve Bank partners with Mexican government in the remittance market, a market that helps keep Mexico a third world country whose poorest will endlessly flood the US with cheap labor:

Nov. 2008 article

11/1/2008, "Directo a Mexico helps customers join the financial system," Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Michael Grover, Jimmy Nguyen

"The Directo a Mexico remittance service could have two major benefits: helping financial institutions in the U.S. compete more effectively in the money-transfer market, and increasing the number of Mexicans who use the mainstream banking system"...
"Recently, financial service providers have developed alternative strategies for lowering the cost of remittances for Mexican workers in the U.S. One alternative is the Directo a México® initiative sponsored by the Federal Reserve Banks and Banco de México, Mexico's central bank. The principal aim of the initiative is to help financial institutions in the U.S. compete more effectively in the remittance market. Financial institutions in the U.S. that offer Directo a México generally charge lower transaction fees than the big MTOs charge. As the initiative gains ground and market share, its fee structure has the potential benefit of increasing the amount of money families in Mexico receive from their relatives in the U.S....

A cross-border partnership

In 2001, Banco de México and the Federal Reserve Banks agreed to study the possibility of linking the two countries' payment systems by creating an efficient, interbank mechanism that would be available to all financial institutions in both countries. The service was proposed to improve access to the payments system network for financial institutions on both sides of the border. It also aligned with the Federal Reserve Banks' mission to ensure an efficient, effective, and accessible retail payments system. From this partnership, the FedACH (Federal Reserve Automated Clearinghouse) International® Mexico Service, now known as Directo a México, was created in 2003. Marketing of the new service to financial institutions in the U.S. began in the summer of 2005

The main selling points of Directo a México to U.S. financial institutions and the Mexican-American customers they serve are the service's security, speed, and low cost. Directo a México lowers the cost of sending a remittance in two important ways. First, financial institutions can make money transfers through the service with a very low, per-item surcharge of $0.67. Second, the service offers a competitive exchange rate for converting dollars into pesos, regardless of the amount transferred, that is generally lower than the exchange rate charged by MTOs. For example, the Federal Reserve Banks estimated that the service would save 55 pesos (approximately $5) on a $350 remittance transfer, in comparison to the fee charged by a typical MTO.5/  
While financial institutions charge an add-on fee to their customers for using Directo a México, the overall per-transaction cost of the service is generally at or below $5, or roughly half the total fee charged by most MTOs.6/
One of the key requirements of the program is that both the sender and receiver of the remittance need to have a bank account. Bank-to-bank transfer services are a more secure method of transferring money across the border than informal means such as the mail. Additional advantages of using the service include the ability to automate recurring transfer payments and the fact that money is available to recipients in Mexico on the next banking day. In addition, the Directo a México program helps financial institutions overcome the English-Spanish language barrier. The service provides Spanish-language promotional templates for brochures, pamphlets, and other marketing materials that enrolled U.S. financial institutions can use. 

One challenge for Directo a México is that the market for bank-to-bank transfers may be limited by the relatively small proportion of households in Mexico with bank accounts. Several studies suggest that roughly 30 percent of Mexican households have bank accounts, compared to roughly 64 percent7/ in the U.S.
To help overcome this hurdle, the Federal Reserve Banks and Banco de México collaborated with BANSEFI, a bank owned by the Mexican government, to create the Beneficiary Account Registration (BAR) web site. The site allows financial institutions in the U.S. to generate an 18-digit bank account number, also known as a CLABE, at a BANSEFI branch. The financial institution can use Directo a México and the CLABE to transfer funds from the U.S. to Mexico. The web site enables originating financial institutions in the U.S. to initiate a Mexican bank account at any of BANSEFI's branches, which are typically located in rural and low-income areas throughout Mexico. The beneficiary must then go to the BANSEFI branch, or its affiliated financial institutions, with proper identification to formalize the account. The BAR web site promotes financial inclusion by encouraging the otherwise "unbanked" Mexican citizen to open a bank account and participate in the country's financial system.

One credit union's story

To date, more than 380 financial institutions in 42 states have enrolled in Directo a México, compared to just six institutions when the service was launched in 2004. In the Ninth Federal Reserve District, 29 institutions have signed on. The earliest adopters include St. Paul Federal Credit Union, Franklin National Bank, Bank Cherokee, Arcadia Credit Union, and Royal Credit Union.

According to Elizabeth McQuerry, assistant vice president of the Retail Payments Office at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the prevalence of credit unions on that list is no surprise.
"Directo a México is a natural fit for credit unions, because they are community-focused institutions that work to build and maintain strong relationships with their members. They also tend to be physically located in the neighborhoods of their member base." 

Of the 29 Ninth District institutions that have adopted Directo a México, St. Paul Federal Credit Union (FCU) in St. Paul, Minn., is the market leader in terms of the number of members using the service and the average dollar amount of their transactions. At present, approximately 70 customers use the St. Paul FCU Directo a México service, making a total of 30 to 40 remittance transfers a month and averaging about $600 per transaction.

St. Paul FCU officially kicked off its Directo a México service in July 2007 at a ceremony attended by 200 community members and officials, including representatives from the The Consulate of Mexico in St. Paul, the Mexican government, Banco de Mexico, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Minneapolis, Caja Morelia Valladolid (a Mexican credit union), and Minnesota elected officials

According to St. Paul FCU Branch Manager David De Santiago, encouragement from the consulate played an important role in his institution's involvement in the program. 

"The Mexican consulate helped identify that most of our money transfers in the St. Paul area are to one particular city in Mexico, the city of Tarímbaro. It also identified the credit union branch that most of the beneficiaries use in Tarímbaro, which is Caja Morelia Valladolid. St. Paul Federal Credit Union shared this information with BANSEFI, and BANSEFI in turn added Caja Morelia Valladolid to the BAR web site and initiated a networking relationship between the two institutions."

Thanks to the Directo a México promotional templates, St. Paul FCU is able to market the service using monthly newsletters, colorful brochures, and press releases. The credit union charges a flat fee of $3 per remittance, regardless of the amount transferred. Since it began offering the service, St. Paul FCU has seen Directo a México serve as an entry product that enables customers to move into a fuller, traditional banking relationship. According to De Santiago, "Directo a México is a useful tool to pull in customers, but it is up to us to keep them as customers and introduce them to all the other traditional products the credit union has to offer." 

Since the inception of Directo a México, participation in the service has steadily climbed. Now, more and more financial institutions are expressing an interest in entering the remittance market

According to McQuerry, "We've seen significant increases in payments volume since the creation of Directo a México, and new depository financial institutions sign up to participate in the service every month. Including government items, Directo a México has processed more than 1.3 million items to date, with zero payments lost." 

Still, the true test of the service lies ahead. One of the key challenges for Directo a México will be to gain market share against the more established remittance providers, like Western Union and MoneyGram. It also remains to be seen whether the new service will increase the number of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who leave the ranks of the unbanked. Early evidence suggests that as word of the new service spreads and more financial institutions sign on, the potential benefits of Directo a México may indeed be realized."

"For more information on Directo a México, visit Jimmy Nguyen served as a Community Affairs intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in the summer of 2008. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in finance and economics at the University of St. Thomas."


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