Mexicans living abroad sent home almost $27 billion in 2016, the highest yearly figure on record.
This money sent home is called remittances, remittances rose 8.8 percent, from $24.78 billion in 2015 to 26.97 billion last year.
Mexico’s central bank said Wednesday almost all the money was sent to Mexico by electronic transfers. About $600 million continues to arrive in cash or by money orders.
Remittances have become Mexico’s most important source of foreign income after auto exports of almost $34 billion per year. Remittances have far surpassed the $15.6 billion Mexico earns from oil exports and the $17.5 billion in tourism income Mexico received in 2015.
U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested the U.S. might retain some remittances to pay for a wall between the countries, a project Mexico opposes.