— The United States is the largest source of remittances — or funds sent overseas by foreign-born residents — in the world, according to the Government Accountability Office.
A new GAO report, requested by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and House Budget Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) M.D. (R-GA), reveals that foreign-born residents in the U.S. sent $54.2 billion in remittances abroad in 2014. Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines received the most money.
According to GAO’s analysis of the World Bank’s Bilateral Remittance Matrix, in 2014, about $25 billion was sent to Mexico, some $15 billion was sent to China, over $10 billion sent to India, and about $10 billion went to the Philippines. Other top receiving countries included Vietnam, Nigeria, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Korea.
In 2013 Vitter introduced legislation — “The Remittance Status Verification Act” or the “Wire Act” that would impose a fee on remittances made by customers who wire money abroad but are unable to prove their legal status. The revenue from that fine would be directed to border security.