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Recession impacts bucks sent home by immigrants

It should come as no surprise that when there’s a slowdown in housing starts and other manual labor job sectors, the wave of immigrants (both legal and illegal) to the U.S., also slows down and slows quickly, one recent report claims. When that job sector slows, so does the free flow of cash from the U.S. back to the immigrants’ homeland.

The national report said that the estimated 18.9 million immigrants send billions home – not millions, folks – billions and estimated that 73 percent of them regularly send cash home.

The report forecasts that $45.9 billion will be sent back to the mother land this year. The study broke it down as immigrants sending home 15 checks of $325 in 2008, which equals $45.9 billion. Arkansas immigrants were estimated to send $100 to $500 million of that total home.

But, the slowdown in entry-level jobs and the loss of wages may slow the flood of immigrants to the U.S. This trend has been seen in other eras of economic slowdown as well as the Great Depression of the 1930s. The top six reasons immigrants may move back to their native country were: Missing family, lack of jobs, discrimination, bad economy, prefer their lives back home and unable to obtain proper legal status to remain in the U.S.

BIG WINNER
Christopher Kemp of Rogers won The New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest for the week of April 21. Online voting pushed his caption idea to the top. He will win a replica of the Jack Ziegler cartoon, which will appear on the final page of the weekly magazine. The link to see Kemp’s handiwork can be found at newyorker.com/humor/caption.

BIG PROJECT
Despite some finger wagging and name calling, it looks like the 23-plus acre truck stop at the Wagon Wheel Exit on I-540 will finally happen. Don’t look for the Springdale planning staff to be enjoying chicken fried steaks out there in the future.

BIG MONEY
The Springdale School District is still set to cash in on allowing cell towers on their properties at several different schools to the tune of $72,000 a year with an annual 3 percent increase. The towers are ugly, but a moneymaker.

BIG PERMIT
The folks at Greenhouse Grille are hoping for ABC approval of a catering permit for alcoholic beverages. Folks love iced tea, but they also love that organic vino.

BIGGER PAYCHECKS
The State is set to offer up a legislative package that would raise entry-level pay for state jobs. The early spin is that more pay will help keep better employees longer, thus making state government work better.

BIG HOLIDAY
With rising gas prices, watch for a strong push from retailers for the upcoming Memorial Day sales, starting, well, starting next week. Summer is around the corner. Will cash registers start to ring?

BIG FLOP
The naysayers are out blabbering about the low ticket sales for K.C. and the Sunshine Band at The AMP. High gas prices and tighter budgets are going to hamper the “less than popular” acts scheduled by the parking lot venue.

BIG A&P
The Golden Corral was tops in the February Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion tax receipts. The buffet steak house was followed by Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Shogun and Chick-Fil-A of NW Village Shopping Center. The 6-10 spots went to: Chick-Fil-A on 6th Street; Logan’s Road House; Chartwells; Noodle’s and T.G.I. Friday’s.

BIG HOTELS
The new Courtyard by Marriott near the Northwest Arkansas Mall opened No. 1 in the February A&P numbers for hotel revenue followed by the Clarion Inn; Hampton Inn; The Cosmopolitan and the Inn at Carnall Hall.

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