A World Bank report published last month revealed that in 2018, legal and illegal immigrants living in the states funneled $33.7 billion in remittances to residents in Mexico.
And even that $33.7 billion pales in comparison to the $87 billion total that was funneled to both the Caribbean islands and the region south of the border that the World Bank refers to as “Latin America.”
“Mexico, the region’s largest recipient of remittances, accounting for about 40 percent of the
regional total, is projected to post record remittances estimated at $34 billion in
2018 — about 10 percent more than the previous year,” the report reads.
Remittances to “Latin America” likewise increased by 9.3 percent from 2017 to 2018.
— IndiaSpend (@IndiaSpend) December 10, 2018
The total sent last year, $87 billion, is roughly 17 times more than President Donald Trump currently seeks in funding to begin construction of a border wall along the U.S. southern border. It’s likewise double the total $25 billion that would reportedly be required to build the entire wall.
In light of this new data, calls have begun growing for the president to push ahead with the ideas he’s touted in the past to either tax or cut off outgoing remittances.
In a memo released in April of 2016 to The Washington Post, the president “said he would threaten to change a rule under the USA Patriot Act antiterrorism law to cut off a portion of the funds sent to Mexico through … remittances. The threat would be withdrawn if Mexico made ‘a one-time payment of $5-10 billion’ to pay for the border wall, he wrote.”
That plan never materialized. Nor did his plan to tax remittances to Mexico.
“President Trump is mulling a tax on cash transfers between immigrants in the U.S. and their relatives in Mexico as a way to fund his promised border wall without forcing American taxpayers to open their wallets,” the Washington Examiner reported during Trump’s first year in office.
According to social media users, it’s time for these ideas to be implemented:
Tax remittances to Mexico!! End DACA! Build the wall!
— Michael OnEbay (@MichaelPghPA) January 3, 2019
Mr. President, you don’t need Congressional approval for an EO imposing 35% remittance tax to all remittances going to Mexico and Central American countries. Keep the tax until Mexico stops allowing U.S. invasion from its territory. If necessary fully close the southern border.
— Elio A. Borges Cros (@ElioCros) January 3, 2019
A 10% tax on remittances to Central American countries ($53 billion in 2018), for the wall, would have equaled 5.3 billion in 2018. Democrat approval not required. What are we waiting for? You said you would build it at every single rally.https://t.co/HqHoHAMyNR#BuildTheWall
— Tom Lee (@GriffWV) January 3, 2019
@realDonaldTrump Why not impose a tax on remittances now and save it for the wall. Sort of put it on layaway.
— Bob “Smockin'” Johnson (@BobJohnson1933) January 3, 2019
Tax remittances to Mexico to pay for the wall (100 percent within the president’s authority under various banking regulations) Legal and illegal migrants sent $53.4 billion in remittances back to Mexico and Central America in 2018
— McJerald (@SeducingLolipop) January 3, 2019
— Niles Lesh (@Mienfoks) January 3, 2019
— JMurray829 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@jmurray829) January 3, 2019
The $53 billion cited by some Twitter users was from a Breitbart piece. Using the World Bank report, Breitbart concluded that remittances sent to Mexico and three unspecified Central American countries in 2018 totaled $53.4 billion, or $33.6 billion less than the total $87 billion sent to “Latin America.”
No matter how you parse the data, the fact remains that legal and illegal immigrants send a boatload of money to their relatives every year. Moreover, large chunks of that money often wind up in the hands of murderous cartels, according to the Justice Department.
In a press release published in November of 2017, the department announced that it had just charged nine defendants with laundering drug money to Mexico through remittances.
“This investigation revealed how drug cartels use remittance companies to fuel their criminal enterprises,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak noted at the time.
“Drug Cartels are constantly looking for conduits like money service businesses to launder their illicit drug proceeds back to Mexico,” immigration official Gregory Wiest added.
Multiple guilty pleas expose ability of drug cartels to launder drug proceeds through money remitters https://t.co/gwiN1uz9Q6
— K. Louise Neufeld #TheHuntressDianaOfTercel?⚖️?? (@ninaandtito) November 18, 2017
It remains unclear why the Trump administration has yet to either put a stop to or tax remittances, though as noted before, a growing number of Americans think it’s time:
Here’s one way to get some of the money for the wall. Start taxing some of remittance money sent back to the countries these illegal immigrants are coming from. If they’re not here legally, tax the money going track to their countries. https://t.co/evAWg9mJEK
— Jaime Santillan (@JSant24) January 3, 2019
Trump should threaten an Import tax on ALL products from Mexico AND start taxing remittances 2 Mexico, 2 build a BIG & BEAUTIFUL WALL. If the Mexican’s don’t want that, then they would have 2 pay 4 it, because it’s a problem they impose on us.
— Don Nash (@AbnRanger_90) January 3, 2019
Why doesn’t @realDonaldTrump just start taxing remittances today? Shutdown & remittances continue until the wall is fully funded.
— Bronsonburg (@Bronsonburg) January 2, 2019
Remittances why keep allowing that to happen start taxing that
— vince kennedy (@vken106817) December 29, 2018
We need THE WALL…..To pay for THE WALL, start taxing remittances sent home by illegals….Charge home country $$$ per illegal head to process and deport….The new trade agreement should have stipulated this.
— Anna Lamothe (@AnnaLamothe1) December 13, 2018
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