Trump Outlines Stupid Plan To Get Mexico To Pay For Border Wall

Great Wall of Trump

Donald Trump announced he would use a federal anti-terrorism surveillance law as a tool to force Mexico to pay for the border wall he has pledged to build on the U.S.’s southern border.

Trump outlined the steps his administration would undertake to compel Mexico to pay the U.S. “$5-10 billion” to fund a border wall in a memo his campaign released Tuesday morning — a plan that relies largely on threatening to bar undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States from wiring money to relatives in Mexico.

Using a broad interpretation of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act, Trump writes in the memo that he would threaten to issue new regulations that would compel money transfer companies like Western Union to verify a client’s identity and legal status before authorizing a wire transfer.

Trump’s plan reads just like how he talks.

  1. Day 1, broaden a provision in the Patriot Act, a (shitty) law used in the fight against terrorism, to include wire transfers. Also include a requirement that no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States. So if you are brown skin then Trump’s plan requires you to first provide proof of citizenship to wire money to Mexico.
  2. Mexico waits 24 hours to complain. No really here is the exact quote, “On day 2 Mexico will immediately protest.” It goes on to claim without citation that “they” receive approximately $24 billion a year in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States, mostly from illegal aliens.
  3. Day 3, Trump publicly threatens the Mexican government to pay for the wall now, otherwise he will enact tariffs so harsh it will hurt both economies.
  4. Enact trade tariffs that will hurt both economies should the Mexican government not comply. And to quote, “Mexico needs access to our markets much more than the reverse, so we have all the leverage and will win the negotiation.”
  5. Threatens to cancel visas.
  6. Threatens to increase visa fees which Trump claims would pay for the wall all by itself.

The memo then concludes by blaming Mexico directly for crime, drugs, and the costs to the legal system from prosecution and incarceration.

Mexico has taken advantage of us in another way as well: gangs, drug traffickers and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes inside the United States. The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again.


Here’s the really stupid thing about Trump’s plan. If I’m a person who entered this country illegally, and live in this country illegally, what makes him think that I would only resort to purely legal ways of sending money back home. If a black market exists to get me here, why wouldn’t a black market exist to send my money back? And like most illegal immigrants I stay away from criminal elements, why not instead legally send a check or pre-paid Visa card in the mail? If you stop and think about each one of Trump’s proposals, it gets defeated with simple logic.

The sad fact is Donald Trump is single-handedly destroying the United State’s relationship with our 3rd largest trading partner. Our economy with Mexico is so intertwined that a goal to force economic hardships will amount to shooting ourselves in the foot. Look around your room,in your garage, or in your fridge, without a doubt you are looking at something that you purchased inexpensively and was made entirely or in part in Mexico. Now image you paid more for all of those things you see all because Donald Trump raised tariffs.

Furthermore, to bastardize an already questionable anti-terror law to require anyone who wishes to send money outside of the United States to first prove their citizenship could place an undue burden on that individual and would be difficult to prove that it is not illegal or unconstitutional.

Now about the actual cost. As we’ve discussed before, The Great Wall of Trump will not cost $10 billion but $25 billion plus $750 million every year for maintenance.  Let’s forget for a moment the illogical conclusion that blocking person-to-person money transfers will somehow effect the the Mexican government so drastically it will cause Enrique Nieto cave in and pay for a wall. Mexico does not receive $24 billion per yer in remittances as Trump claimed, but instead $19.9 billion.

There is a problem with that $19.9 billion number as it includes all remittance outflow to Mexico from both citizens and illegal immigrants. The real number, according to The World Bank for money transfers to Mexico from migrants is only $7 billion per year. It would take 4 years of unconstitutionally and magically collecting wire transfers until we would break even, and at that point the damage to both of our economies would be felt by the average American.


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