Posted on December 3, 2010

Ecuador Tries to Lure Emigrants Home

Sam Dolnick, New York Times, December 2, 2010

From a spare, second-floor office in Queens, an outpost of the Ecuadorean government offers English classes, computer training and after-school programs to immigrants building new lives in New York City. But these days, the office’s busiest program works in the opposite direction–helping Ecuadoreans go home.

The program, Welcome Home, offers an array of incentives to lure immigrants back to Ecuador: money to start new businesses, one-way airplane tickets and a waiver on import taxes and fees on any belongings they take home.

In a battered American economy with high unemployment rates, a rising number of people are accepting the offer, Ecuadorean officials say.

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{snip} Many nations, including Ethiopia, Jamaica and Morocco, waive sizable import taxes on goods brought back. Some, like El Salvador and Mexico, offer bus fare and educational assistance to returning people deported from other countries.

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