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Flow of money

The billions illegal immigrants send home each year and the unintended discrimination against Latino U.S. citizens are two additional negative impacts.

Latin American immigrants [legal or not] send home about 10 percent of their household income on an annual basis, according to a 2004 study by the Inter-American Development Bank. That 10 percent ” about $150-$250 a month ” can represent 50-80 percent of household incomes in Latin America.

The study estimates that approximately 271,000 Latin American immigrants live in Colorado. In 2004, 69 percent sent money home ” a total of $544 million.



In Colorado, where the majority of illegal immigrants are from Latin America, Latinos are sometimes lumped into criticisms of illegal immigrants.

When a Latino commits a crime, the general population assumes he or she is an illegal immigrant, said Penny Gonzales-Soto, an immigration attorney with Catholic Charities Northern in Greeley.



“What does the general population do: Hispanic face front page and what is that attributed to: immigrants,” Gonzales-Soto said. “I mean it just all comes together: brown face, Hispanic equals immigrant. So, that’s an injustice, throwing everybody into the same pot.”

Juan Verdugo, principal of East Memorial Elementary School in Greeley, said illegal immigrants have settled into concentrated areas of the city ” such as the northeast side by his school ” because its an area where they feel comfortable and accepted.

But segregation can cause problems, such as breeding gangs, Verdugo said.

“When you segregate big numbers of people and they are of the lowest socio-economic settings, they create their own communities,” Verdugo said.


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