Remittances, Mexico’s second-largest source of foreign income after oil, plunged 3.6 percent to $25 billion in 2008 compared to $26 billion for the previous year, the central bank said.

The percentage drop is nearly twice what the government had expected for the year, and central bank official Jesus Cervantes said the decline will likely continue this year.

Experts blame a crackdown on illegal immigration that has stemmed the flow of those heading north to seek work as well as the U.S. recession, in which many Mexicans, especially construction workers, have been laid off.

It was the first time remittances have fallen year-to-year since the bank starting tracking the money 13 years ago.

I’ve been saying for years that the Mexican government needs to find another source of income besides remittances. First of all, while I somewhat sympathize with individuals sending money back for their families, I believe that as an overall source of income for the whole country, remittances are illegitimate. That’s like counting on drug dealers to fill your coffers with money spent on rims and gold teeth.

Let’s look at the math here. Peppy the Hard Working Mexican breaks US immigration law by illegally crossing the border into the United States. Peppy then goes to work as a construction worker or works as an unskilled laborer at a reduced cost for the employer (thus undercutting the American citizen who could have had that job but would have been paid more). Peppy then takes the majority of his illegally earned wages and rather than using it to pay American taxes (aside from the occasional sales tax, if that) he sends it to his needy family back across the border in Mexico. Now am I supposed to feel bad that outright theft of American jobs and tax dollars is going down due to strains on the economy? Frankly, if a sour economy forces more of the ILLEGAL aliens to back to their country of origin then I’ll happily continue to live in a recession for at least the next few years. As a matter of fact, this recession may be the best anti-illegal immigration policy we’ve had to date.

“Remittances are the single strongest poverty-reduction tool that many countries have,” said Robert Meins of the Inter-American Development Bank. “This could translate into a great deal of hardship for a lot of people, which I think is underappreciated.”

So what Mr. Meins is essentially saying is that instead of building an economy that rests upon proven industries such as manufacturing, heavy machinery, tourism and exploitation of natural resources to grow their economy and thus reduce poverty, Mexico would rather continue to count a fine combination of quasi-slave labor and welfare from the US government. Not being able to count on welfare is apparently a hardship in Mexico and other Third World countries.

This is the reason why we conservatives fight against illegal immigration. Aside from the fact that it is generally a bad idea for mass amounts of people to flout the law as if it wasn’t there at all, it also encourages dependence rather than innovation, the true instrument of growth and wealth. If we had actually been guarding our borders instead of winking at the millions of illegals here to overtax our hospitals and schools while simultaneously screwing the American or legal alien worker we wouldn’t have a situation where Mexico was basically a dysfunctional welfare state entirely dependent on the United States.

If we were just talking about legal Mexican workers not being able to send remittances then I wouldn’t bother to comment on this bit of news. However, the underlying message of this article is that we should somehow sympathize with millions of lawbreakers who have suddenly fallen on hard times and can’t quite screw this country the way they used to. That’s ridiculous and I for one won’t be manipulated into feeling bad for people who broke the by not coming here in the right way. This is what liberals do. They justify breaking the law or being immoral by showing you pictures of starving children or some such thing that is supposed to tug on your heartstrings. If the Mexicans that risked life and limb to come here illegally put half as much energy in to improving their own damn country instead of stealing from ours, then maybe something besides stolen American dollars, jobs and services would be their second highest foreign income.

Let this be a lesson to the Mexican government; develop your own industries and stop depending on the US to give you welfare via illegal immigration…or just apply for an Obama-Bailout like everyone else.

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