Economic meltdown sends large number of migrants home: UN

November 21st, 2008 - 9:25 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 21 (DPA) Significant numbers of migrants have returned home from host countries hit by financial crisis and economic difficulties, the UN said Thursday in a study of the economic impacts on workers.”News about migrants returning in significant numbers to their home countries have become more common, especially in cases where the economy of the host country sours,” the UN population division said.

It said the exodus out of affluent countries by migrant workers is taking place from Poland to North America. World remittances by migrants have also dropped, from 17 percent of their wages between 2002 and 2006 to just seven percent of their wages in 2007 and 2008.

The total of all remittances sent home by migrants around the world amounted to about $283 billion in 2007.

Quoting World Bank figures, the UN projected a further drop or stagnation of remittances in 2009 and a possible recovery in 2010.

The survey gave anecdotal evidence of the retreat by migrants, but offered few specifics. It said about 21,000 Hispanic immigrants in the US lost jobs in the construction sector in 2007 and salaries of those having jobs have also dropped.

The US economic meltdown has slowed down the flow of illegal migrants, with apprehensions at the southern US border dropping by 39 percent in 2008 compared with the peak of arrests in 2005.

“Recession fears are affecting the numbers of persons trying to get entry under special programmes as well,” the UN said.

It said Filipino nationals seeking nursing certificates to work in the US had not increased from 2007 to 2008 after years of high numbers of entries.

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