U.S. Deportations Negatively Impact the State of Guerrero’s Economy

U.S. deportation of Mexicans back to the state of Guerrero, in which Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is located, will have a negative impact on the state’s economy due to the related reduction in foreign remittances. According to Netzahualcoyotl Bustamante Santin, Guerrero state migrant secretary, 45 percent of the state’s economic circulation comes from the remittances sent back by its citizens living in the United States.

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According to the state official, more than 28,000 migrants from Guerrero were deported from the U.S. in 2012.  The economic effects of this deportation can be gauged by comparing the amount of remittances received in Guerrero between January and March of 2013, when $279 million entered the state compared to $309 million during the same months in 2012.

“Thirty million dollars did not arrive in Guerrero during 2013, which means a systematic fall in the reception of remittances in the state,” Bustamante noted.  He announced that remittances in the coming months are expected to decline also.

In recent years the number of deportees from the U.S. to Guerrero has decreased from 35,000 people in 2010 to 28,000 in 2012.  From January to May of 2013, some 11,000 Guerrero civilians were expelled back to the state.  The state of Guerrero is in fourth place for Mexican deportees’ place of origin, behind the states of Michoacán, Guanajuato and Oaxaca.  These deportations have a parallel downturn in remittances.  According to the migrant affairs official, during the five years from 2007 to 2012, migrant remittances in Guerrero declined 18% from $1.5 billion to $1.23 billion.

Income from Mexican national and international tourism, which is the bulk of Guerrero state’s economy, stagnated during the same years, declining from about $27.3 billion Pesos in 2009 to $27.2 billion Pesos in 2012.  Decreasing remittances from the U.S. combined with a stagnant tourism industry has struck a serious blow to the state’s economy.

Bustamante said the migrant deportations challenge Guerrero and Mexico to meet new employment needs and to create relevant programs. Like other Mexican states, Guerrero has a limited budget to support returning migrants. According to Bustamante, the current state migrant budget of about US$2 million is spread across 26 municipalities. Based on last year’s deportee numbers, the budget breaks down to only about $70 USD per migrant.

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Sources: La Jornada, May 25, 2013; El Sur, May 27, 2013; Despertar de la Costa, June 13, 2013: Prevén “fuerte crisis” económica en Guerrero por caída de remesas

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