“It’s been a very tough situation,” said Sosa, who is in the middle of processing his U.S. residency papers. Lockdowns imposed by wealthy nations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the jolt those restrictions have delivered to their economies, are severing a vital lifeline for many often vulnerable people around the world: the billions of dollars in remittances sent home by relatives working abroad. Roughly one in nine of the global population receives remittances, or about 800 million people, according to the United Nations.

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