Photo: Ecuador Helps Migrants
With the current state of the U.S. economy, programs that were initially set up to help Ecuadoreans assimilate in the U.S. are now being used to entice the very same people to come back to Ecuador.
With unemployment rates still high, and rising tension over Latino immigration, Ecuador’s attempts to lure its people back to the country have been somewhat successful. A program from the Ecuadorean called Welcome Home is offering a number of incentives for those considering a return including money to start new businesses, one-way plane tickets, and an import taxes and fees waiver for anything they bring home.
People like Victor Lopez, who has been in the U.S. for 21 years, are making the tough decision to leave the United States and return to Ecuador, Lopez says his frustration over waiting for a green card, the cutting of his work hours, and missing his children were all part of his decision to leave the U.S., but he says the final straw was the overall downfall of the economy.
Ecuador joins El Salvador, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Morocco in offering incentives to lure migrants home, but differs in that they have pushed their “return-campaign” far more, having placed advertisements on bus depots and Spanish-language television networks in New York, and having a ministry specifically dedicated to migrant affairs.