June 20, 2006

SURREPTITIOUS FOREIGN AID:

Mexican mansions bloom from U.S. jobs (Ioan Grillo, 6/19/06, Associated Press)

Clementina Arellano grew up with her six brothers in a shack in this dusty Mexican hamlet. Now 42, she's raising her sons in a spacious, 10-room mansion with Roman-style pillars at the doorway and a garden full of flowers and singing birds.

How did she transform her fortunes so dramatically? By waiting tables and sweating in a furniture factory for about 10 years in Hickory, N.C., and sending home up to $500 a month.

A couple of doors down, Berta Olgin, lives under a leaky roof, with skinny sheep gnawing at sparse patches of grass in her yard. Her sons all decided to stay in Mexico to work as farmers or laborers, earning about $10 a day.

The two women are a vivid illustration of why so many Mexicans head north from this arid valley in central Mexico. Those who make it to the U.S. send dollars to

carve out a Mexican dream between gnarled cacti and jagged rocks. Those who stay behind condemn another generation to a life deprived of material privileges. [...]

Last year, Mexican migrants sent home a record $20 billion, making them Mexico's biggest foreign earner after oil, according Mexico's Central Bank. In the first four months of this year, the amount was $7 billion, a 25 percent increase over the same period last year.


Only illegal immigration keeps the migration from getting out of control.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 20, 2006 10:03 PM
Comments

Note, though, that Clementina went back.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 20, 2006 11:08 PM

I'd go back too, if I had a mansion waiting for me... I wonder if she has Gringo servants?

Posted by: lebeaux at June 21, 2006 12:38 AM

Gringoes won't work.

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2006 12:46 AM

Priceless, oj.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 21, 2006 12:52 AM

Now, I don't want to get all mathmatical on you, but $10 a day is around $210 a month.

Do you really believe that the $290 per month more that Clementina earned is the difference between a 10 room mansion and a sheep shack?

Posted by: Brandon at June 21, 2006 9:39 AM

"By waiting tables and sweating in a furniture factory for about 10 years in Hickory, N.C., and sending home up to $500 a month.

A couple of doors down, Berta Olgin, lives under a leaky roof, with skinny sheep gnawing at sparse patches of grass in her yard. Her sons all decided to stay in Mexico to work as farmers or laborers, earning about $10 a day."

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2006 9:45 AM

So you are arguing that anyone who doesn't hire illegals for minimal under the table wages isn't being patriotic. Okay. Whatever.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 21, 2006 9:49 AM

There isn't anyone who doesn't depend on such l;abor for their current high standard of living. People who complain about it are merely posing.

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2006 9:56 AM

The Gringoes made Clementia work...

Posted by: Ptah at June 21, 2006 9:57 AM

There isn't anyone who doesn't depend on such l;abor for their current high standard of living. People who complain about it are merely posing.

Ah. All becomes clear now. Pink, not Grey.

Posted by: Ptah at June 22, 2006 8:14 AM

Bitching, not substance.

Posted by: oj at June 22, 2006 9:31 AM

What's the difference between a "first person" account and an anecdote?

Posted by: erp at June 23, 2006 8:58 AM

$20 billion dollars.

Posted by: oj at June 23, 2006 9:02 AM
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