Donald Trump has leverage for making Mexico pay for the border wall between the two countries, a former Mexican government official contends.
Trump can also easily deport four million illegal aliens if he wins the White House, the ex-diplomat noted.
Jorge Castaneda made these comments during a recent presentation at the Hudson Institute think tank. Castaneda, now a professor at New York University, was Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary from 2000 to 2003.
As one of his key campaign platforms, the GOP presidential nominee has vowed to build the wall to protect America from drug-smuggling cartels, human traffickers, and terrorists. After meeting with Trump in Mexico City last month, Mexico’s president Enrique Pena Nieto reaffirmed that his country would not pay for the wall.
Jorge Castaneda, who described the possibility of a Trump presidency as a “disaster,” nonetheless characterized the border wall promise as “perfectly feasible,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“If he really wants Mexicans to pay for the wall, he has many ways of getting many Mexicans to pay for the wall, increasing the fee for visas…increasing the toll on the bridges…taxing remittances.”
He also said that Trump could deport double the number of illegal aliens that that have been removed under Obama.
“Everybody knows where they it’s very easy to find them. It’s expensive, but it’s not outrageously expensive and you could pressure a bunch of people including my country into paying for part of it and taking them back. If Obama was able to deport a little more than two million…why can’t Trump deport four million if he wants to? [sic]”
— Medill on the Hill (@medillonthehill) September 21, 2016
In the last several years, deportations have slowed substantially, with catch and release apparently becoming the norm. According to data released by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), “ICE removed nearly 43 percent fewer total aliens from the United States in FY 2015 than it did in FY 2012 — and nearly 62 percent fewer aliens from the interior of the United States,” even while the agency’s budget increased 25 percent during the same time frame. It also deported 41 percent few criminal aliens, Sessions asserted.
Castaneda has also reportedly opined that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “doesn’t really like Mexico,” The Weekly Standard noted. Clinton has prioritized amnesty for her first 100 days in office.
The Trump campaign has floated the idea of using seized assets from drug cartels to fund the border wall.
On his website, Donald Trump has detailed some ways for Mexico to pay for the border wall that include impounding “all remittance payments derived from illegal wages,” increasing fees on temporary and working visas and border crossing cards, and imposing tariffs on goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico, the latter being a hot-button issue given the U.S. manufacturers who have moved their facilities across the border.
Responding to the Syrian refugee crisis and the possibility of ISIS infiltration, several European and Middle Eastern countries are constructing walls at their borders. Saudi Arabia’s wall will be 600-miles long when finished, according to Business Insider and various other news outlets.
Saudi Arabian prince is building a border wall to keep refugees out.. pic.twitter.com/mPF3H0Vw2C
— Nacy (@healthuever) September 25, 2016
Although the president has denounced Trump’s border wall, the Obama administration is sending or has sent $75 million to Mexico to help that country secure its southern border given the Central American migrants who have been flooding into Mexico as well as the U.S. There is some dispute as to whether any of that funding will involve physical barriers to increase border security there. “With U.S. support, the Mexican government has been implementing a southern border security plan since 2013 that has involved the establishment of 12 advanced naval bases on the country’s rivers and three security cordons that stretch more than 100 miles north of the Mexico-Guatemala and Mexico-Belize borders,” the Congressional Research Service explained in a February 2016 report.
[Featured Image by Gregory Bull/AP Images]