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Economy has some immigrants seeking cash from home

FAIRVIEW, N.J. — Money transfer agencies have been noticing for months a decline in the wages immigrants are sending back to their home countries.

Now, it appears some immigrants are going a step further — asking their relatives to wire them money back.

As the U.S. economy continues to falter, immigrants on the lowest end of the wage spectrum say work is scare, but the cost of living in America is staying the same.

That’s forcing many to tap into money they previously sent home to build their savings.

Immigrant day laborer Leo Chamale (LEY-o cha-MAL-eh) says he recently had to ask his family in Guatemala to send him money in New Jersey. At the time, he hadn’t worked in five months.

Chamale says he’s now hoping to earn enough for a plane ticket home.