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Mexican migrants send less home

MEXICO CITY – Money sent home by Mexicans abroad plunged a record 15.7 percent in 2009, the central bank reported Wednesday.

Remittances – Mexico’s No. 2 source of foreign income after oil exports – totaled $21.2 billion in 2009, compared with $25.1 billion in 2008, the bank said.

Central bank president Agustin Carstens attributed the drop to the weak economy in the United States and the increased difficulty Mexicans are having securing employment there. More than 11.8 million Mexicans live in the U.S.