Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
The Big Wall Flap between the U.S. and Mexico is underway, alive and feral. Mexico, be afraid.
Donald Trump has announced that the construction of a “physical” border wall will begin within months, which will fulfill a campaign pledge. The President has also stated that U.S. dollars will pay for starting the construction, but the cost of building the wall, eventually, will be “reimbursed by Mexico.”
Mexican President Nieto says no.
All this action has caused wailing and bulge-eyed ranting from leftists, who poo-poo The Rule of Law in the U.S. when it conflicts with their ideological agenda. Such ranting ignores Trump’s motive, which is to stop criminals, gang members, drug mules and other unsavory characters from illegally entering our country.
The Mexican president says “Mexico does not believe in walls.” That’s because Mexico has strict voter ID laws, inhumane and violent prisons, and about 40,000 Guatemalans working in Mexican fields at $3.50 per day.
Many mainstream media reporters criticize Trump for saying Mexico will pay for the wall, versus American taxpayers. But journalists from both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes have stated there are many ways in which the president could make Mexico pay for a fence or wall. How would Trump do it? He could reduce foreign aid, cut subsidies to Mexico and revise NAFTA so that tariffs or border taxes could be imposed. NAFTA has provided Mexico with a trade surplus with the U.S. in every year except 1984, giving Mexico a cumulative trade surplus of over a trillion dollars.
Further, President Trump says he can “extract a one-time payment of $5-10 billion from Mexico” under Sections 130 or 103 of the federal anti-money laundering laws.
But the simplest way would be for Trump to urge the re-proposal in Congress of the Remittance Status Verification Act of 2015. If Trump wants to put the screws to Mexico for their nonchalant attitude about their border, let’s “incentivize” them with this financial shot to the solar plexus: “Foreign remittances” are monies transferred from immigrant workers in the U.S. to their family members or others back in their home country. America is the world leader as a source for foreign remittances. Huge amounts of money also are being remitted from countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia. This is a widespread, serious practice, because remittance can represent a significant amount of a country’s GDP, either positively or negatively.
Mexico received remittance inflows of $24.8 billion in 2015, mostly from Mexican nationals in the U.S., many who are here illegally. This is more money than Mexico received in oil revenues. And it is money that is not spent here to help the growth of the U.S. economy.
Here’s the good part: if the Remittance Act is passed in 2017, it would require that anyone who wants to send cash abroad must provide proof of legal residence, under an existing Patriot Act requirement known as the “Customer Identification Program”. If proof is not provided, the remittance would be unlawful, and subject to a significant fine. This would most likely force Mexico to say uncle at the negotiation table.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s president has no concern whatsoever for the problems that many of his people cause in this country, and the costs America must pay to deal with his criminals and drug dealers. His only concern, in his own words, is that “trade negotiation is very important for the strengths, certainty and future of our economy and our society.”
No word about any concern for us in America, so turn Donald Trump loose on him.
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