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One of the cornerstones of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been immigration, and although he has repeatedly said that Mexico would pay for a border wall between itself and the U.S., he has not revealed details on how he would accomplish that … that is until now.
In a two-page memo to The Washington Post dated March 31, Trump outlined his plan to get Mexico to pay for the 1,000-mile border fence. He proposed it could be done by changing the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law, and blocking immigrants from transferring funds into their home country.
In a move that could potentially devastate the Mexican economy and bring about an “unprecedented showdown” between the two countries, the Post reported that Trump’s plan would withhold remittances to the Mexican government until the wall was funded.
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico,” the memo states. “Make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” for the wall or face confiscation of funds being transferred by Mexicans in the U.S. who cannot establish “lawful presence.”
“Mexico will immediately protest,” the memo continues, as Trump alleged the funds amount to $24 billion annually for the country. “The majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens. It serves as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico.”
The memo, titled “Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall,” invokes a few intimidation tactics including increased trade tariffs and visa fees, and even canceling visas altogether, noting that Mexico depends on the U.S. as a “release valve for its own poverty.”
“Our approvals of hundreds of thousands of visas every year is one of our greatest leverage points,” Trump writes in the memo. “We also have leverage through business and tourist visas for important people in the Mexican economy.”
“[Mexico] has taken advantage of us,” Trump harshly criticized, as “gangs, drug traffickers and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes” in the U.S., Americans have “borne the extraordinary daily cost” of these activities.
“We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage,” the memo concludes.
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