"If the US economy catches a cold, Mexico catches pneumonia," the saying goes. Money sent from the US by Mexican workers there rank as the country's second largest source of foreign income. But that money has dropped 12%, the Central Bank says, due to a recession in the US construction industry, a heavy user of Mexican labour. Tighter border controls and a US crackdown on illegal immigration have also played a role.

Despite these concerns, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon is confident that the country will not suffer the ramifications of the credit crunch, and has proposed to spend US$4.4 billion next year (£2.5bn; 3.3bn euros) on infrastructure projects.

The labour secretary for the Mexico City government, Benito Miron Lince, has announced plans to support some 30,000 workers who are expected to return to the Mexican capital because of the slowdown in the US. Officials have stated that the current unemployment insurance program, unveiled last autumn, will be broadened. According to Mr Miron Lince, demand for unemployment benefits has rapidly increased during the last few months.

With the wave of migrants heading back, it is becoming increasingly evident that re-adjusting to a country that was once their home is not that simple.

After spending most of their lives in the US, Mexican families barely recognise relatives or their towns. Children in particular are often mocked and discriminated against by their teachers and fellow students when they pronounce their names in an American accent. Many are returning to the same grinding poverty that originally drove them out.

pneumonia醫】肺炎[U]

rank 等級;地位,身分 社會階層;軍階,軍銜

labour=labor勞工,勞方

crackdown 壓迫;鎮壓;痛擊

immigration 移居 】(總稱)(外來的)移民

confident 確信的;有信心的,自信的

suffer 遭受;經歷 忍受 容許;任憑

ramification分枝;分派;縱橫交錯

proposed 提議,建議,提出

announced 宣佈,發佈

stated 指定的 定期的;定時的

insurance 保險;保險契約 保險金額;賠償金 預防措施;安全保證

unveiled 使公諸於眾;揭露 

unveil除去...的面紗(或覆蓋物);揭開...的幕
autumn秋季,秋天 成熟期;漸衰期;凋落期[

broadened變寬,變闊;擴大

migrants 移居(尤指移出國境)的  移民;移居者

re-adjusting 重新調整;重新調節

barely 僅僅,勉強;幾乎沒有

recognise 認出,識別;認識 正式承認;認可,認定  承認(事實);認清

mocked 嘲弄,嘲笑 使失望;使無效,挫敗

discriminated 區別,辨別 有差別地對待

pronounce 宣稱;斷言;表示  發...的音;注...的音

accent口音,腔調

grinding 令人難以忍受的;惱人的

poverty 貧窮,貧困

drive out 驅趕

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