GOP frontrunner Donald Trump revealed how he plans to make Mexico pay for the $8 billion border wall that he wants to build once he wins the presidential race.
The billionaire presidential hopeful outlined his plan that would compel Mexico to foot the bill for his proposed 1,000-mile border in a two-page memo to the Washington Post on Tuesday.
Using the U.S. Patriot anti-terrorism law, Trump says he will cut off the billions of dollars’ worth of remittances to Mexico, a plan that could devastate the Mexican economy unless the Mexican government made “a one-time payment of $5-$10 billion” to pay for the border fence.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 5, 2016
He plans to create new regulations that would force money remittance companies, such as Western Union, to validate first a client’s identity and legal status before authorizing a wire transfer.
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico,” Donald Trump wrote.
After they gather enough funds to pay for the wall, Mexicans could continue to send money to their country without hassle.
In 2015 alone, almost $25 billion is being sent home by Mexicans living abroad, mostly through money transfers, the Mexican central bank revealed. In his memo, Trump says he believes that the majority of the money sent to Mexico comes from illegal immigrants. The business tycoon also expressed his desire to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, many of whom come from Mexico.
Trump Just Released His Plan To Make Mexico Pay For His Wall, And It’s Worse Than We Imagined https://t.co/ftpePjh5Hk
— Manuel Mtz. Mattar (@MtzMattar) April 5, 2016
Trump laid out his plans on Tuesday as he faced a loss to Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Wisconsin’s Republican primary.
The billionaire candidate says on “Day 1,” he would issue a warning to Mexico that he will promulgate a new federal provision that would let his administration impound funds sent by Mexicans illegally residing in the U.S. unless its government pays for the building of the wall.
On “Day 2,” Trump wrote, “Mexico will immediately protest.” However, he would make Mexico choose between the enforcement of his conditions or complying. Donald Trump cited a provision in the Code of Federal Regulations that sets the standards for financial organizations in identifying their customers. According to the Republican presidential candidate, that provision will enable the executive branch to “issue detailed regulations on the subject.”
Trump’s memo also mentions other strategies for making the Mexican government pay for the border that Trump first laid out in the immigration policy paper he issued back in August. These strategies include increased import tariffs, increased visa fees, and cancellation of Mexican visas.
— NBC News Videos (@NBCNewsVideo) April 5, 2016
The immigration plan that Donald Trump released last year also promised to “impound all remittance payments from illegal wages” and to raise fees on temporary visas.
“Our approvals of hundreds of thousands of visas every year is one of our greatest leverage points,” Trump said in his memo. “We also have leverage through business and tourist visas for important people in the Mexican economy.”
“We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage,” the memo said. “It is time we use it in order to ‘Make America Great Again,’ ” he added.
President Barack Obama criticized Trump‘s remittances proposal, saying that the businessman needs to re-examine his plans, as it would harm not only the other country’s economy, but also U.S.-Mexico relations. Moreover, it would be difficult to track how much money illegal immigrants in the U.S. are sending to their country.
“Good luck with that…”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 5, 2016
“This is just one more example of something that is not thought through and is primarily put forward for political consumption,” Obama told reporters. “The notion that we’re going to track every Western Union bit of money that’s being sent to Mexico, good luck with that.”
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]