Huge: White House considers plan to stop payments immigrants send to families back in Mexico

(Government works public domain)

In his quest to stomp out illegal immigration, President Donald Trump reportedly plans to target the remittance payments that illegal aliens routinely make to their families back home.

“The White House is considering a plan to curb payments sent to Mexico and Central American countries in order to stem a surge of illegal aliens pouring into the United States,” The Epoch Times reported Tuesday. “A senior administration official told reporters on April 10 the plan would restrict remittances from the United States in order to discourage migrants.”

One of the incentives that drives illegal aliens to cross into the United States is the prospect of acquiring a job here and then funneling a portion of their income to their struggling families in Central America. Were remittances either curbed or eliminated, the incentive would disappear.

News of these plans comes only days after former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who’s reportedly one of the president’s top candidates to serve in a new “immigration czar” or “border czar” position, urged the president to end all remittances to Mexico.

[I]f we stop wire transfers and bank transfers, there may be ways to get around it … but it will still significantly reduce the amount of money flowing into Mexico if we exercise that threat,” he said in an interview over the weekend with Breitbart.

Why only Mexico versus all of Central America? To cajole the Mexican government into entering into a “third country agreement” that would force any asylum seeker from Central America who steps into Mexico en route to the U.S. to permanently remain there.

“What we should be doing is threatening to pass a Treasury [Department] regulation prohibiting illegal aliens from sending home remittances through Western Union and the like. Then tell Mexico, we’ll finalize that regulation and we’ll cut off $20 billion a year in capital … unless you give us a safe third country agreement like we have with Canada,” Kobach added.

“And frankly, we may never even have to find out because I believe if you pass the initial regulation and you tell Mexico, ‘Look, we’re going to finalize this thing unless you give us a safe third country agreement,’ I think they’re going to give us the agreement.”

The full interview may be heard below:

As noted earlier, the elimination of remittances would also disincentivize illegal immigration.

A World Bank report published late last year 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 paled 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 read.

Remittances to “Latin America” likewise increased by 9.3 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Others have suggested that the administration should keep remittances active but tax them. The administration has reportedly been bandying about this idea since as early as 2017.

“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 the president’s first year in office.

It’s unclear why the plan hasn’t materialized yet.


What also remains unclear is whether an attempt to either tax or eliminate remittances would even work. Because of continued interference by left-wing judges, nearly every attempt the president has made to slow down or stop the border crisis has been stymied.

On Monday a federal judge blocked a Homeland Security policy that had forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their immigration hearings. And last week another judge issued a ruling declaring that “it’s up to the U.S. government to prove why [detained illegal aliens] shouldn’t be released.”

Despite the court challenges that could potentially arise were remittances taxes or eliminated, it appears that a large number of the president’s base still believe he should pursue either option.

That being said, some are confused as to why Trump hasn’t done this yet.




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