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Wall Street Journal: Latin Migrants Shift Sights From U.S. to Neighbors

Author: Miriam Jordan
November 18, 2013

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"In a noticeable and important shift in global migratory patterns, millions of migrant workers are no longer relying on the U.S. as heavily as they did for better-paying jobs that allowed them to send money home to families in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Instead, they have moved more to developing economies, creating a shift in money transfers out of countries like Chile, Brazil and Malaysia."

It sounds like the typical American dream for an immigrant: Each month, Marco Antonio Serna sends $500 to his parents, wife and 17-year-old daughter back in Colombia. Except Mr. Serna, 43 years old, didn't migrate to the U.S. for work; he went to Chile, where he is employed at a small casino outside Santiago.

"There's a big community of Colombians here," the former factory worker says.

In a noticeable and important shift in global migratory patterns, millions of migrant workers are no longer relying on the U.S. as heavily as they did for better-paying jobs that allowed them to send money home to families in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Instead, they have moved more to developing economies, creating a shift in money transfers out of countries like Chile, Brazil and Malaysia.

According to Western Union, the world's largest money-transfer firm, more than half of the company's revenue 10 years ago was generated in the U.S. In 2012, that figure was less than 30%. In all, the company moved $79 billion in cash transfers last year.

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