CBO Paper: Remittances: International Payments by Migrants   [open pdf - 305KB]

"Immigration increases the pressures for federal, state, and local government spending. However, immigrants also contribute to the economy and pay taxes. A major question is whether immigration has the potential to lessen the strain on the federal budget as the baby-boom generation retires. Another important question is how immigration to the United States affects the countries from which the immigrants come. This paper, requested by the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, is the second of several reports by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) presenting the facts and research on immigration to help inform the agency's projections of the federal budget and the economy. The paper focuses on remittances - payments sent by immigrant workers back to their home countries. It discusses how those payments are classified and estimated, how remittances from the United States compare with other international financial flows (such as exports or foreign direct investment) and with remittances from other countries, what channels are used to send remittances, and what effects remittances have on the United States and recipient countries."

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