Mexico City (AFP) - Mexicans living abroad sent home a record of nearly $27 billion in 2016, the central bank said Wednesday, amid US President Donald Trump's threat to tap into their remittances to finance a border wall.
The total sum rose 8.8 percent from $24.78 billion in 2015 to $26.97 billion last year, according to the bank.
Cash sent by Mexicans living abroad, mostly from the United States, provides one of the country's main sources of foreign income along with automobile exports, oil and tourism.
Trump has suggested that the US government could seize remittances to pay for the massive wall he has promised along the border to stop illegal immigration -- or halt the transfers to force Mexico to pay.
Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo warned last week that the Mexican government could walk out of negotiations with the United States if remittances are touched.
Although the central bank did not explain why Mexicans sent more money back home last year, remittances rose by 6.2 percent in December, the month after Trump was elected.