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immigrants

UTSA Mexico Center hosts immigration discussion

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(March 28, 2007)--The UTSA Mexico Center and Citibank will host a panel discussion on the growing immigration issue of remittance from 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, March 29 in the Buena Vista Street Building Assembly Room (1.338) at the Downtown Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

In 2005, the United Nations estimated 175 million migrants around the world sent some $232 billion in remittances home to their families. In 2003, Mexico's President Vicente Fox said that remittances from foreign countries to Mexico were greater than revenues from oil exports, tourism and direct investment from foreign firms.

The Mexico Center panel will offer a multi-national examination of the remittance phenomenon with points of view from Mexico, the United States, Japan and the Philippines. Asia is the largest recipient of remittances according to the International Monetary Fund's 2005 Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook.

Presenting Mexico's case will be Agustín Escobar Latpí of the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (Center of Research and Graduate Studies of Social Anthropology) and Fernando Lozano Ascencio of the Centro Regional de Investigaciones Multidisciplinarias (Regional Center of Multidisciplinary Research) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Latapí's studies concern the dynamics of Mexican migration, employment and the labor market, while Ascencio studies the economic impacts of international migrant remittances.

From a U. S. perspective, Bryan Roberts, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, will delve into the sociological phenomenon and motivations behind migration, particularly with regard to Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

Adding to the U.S. case, Carlos Vargas-Silva, post-doctoral fellow in economics at University of Vermont, will discuss macroeconomic issues that determine workers' remittances, the impact of remittances and remittance patterns by gender.

Reinaruth Carlos, associate professor of economics at Ryukoku University of Japan, will present the comparative case of Japan and the Philippines. The phenomenon of remittances sent back to the Philippines closely resembles Mexico's case. Carlos will also discuss the motivations for Filipinos to migrate to Japan and other countries.

The panel is part of a series of UTSA Mexico Center conferences and symposia addressing policy recommendations and bilateral solutions relevant to the United States and Mexico.

For more information, contact Olivia Lopez at (210) 458-2923.

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