How to Pay for a Wall: Absurd Funding Proposal Follows Unsound Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A border wall funded by Mexico or Mexicans is legally questionable, economically disastrous and diplomatically appalling.

Donald Trump provided a two-page memo to the Washington Post to outline how he would seek to force Mexico to pay for his proposed 1,000-mile border fence. The proposal ignores not only that net migration from Mexico to the U.S. is zero or less, but also the huge economic and human capital costs of building such a wall.

Trump says he would compel a one-time payment from Mexico for $5 billion or $10 billion, or else limit remittances of money to Mexico from the U.S.

“The implications with respect to ending remittances, many of which by the way are from legal immigrants and from individuals who are sending money back to their families, are enormous,” President Obama said today.

Even Republicans are acknowledging realities on the border and of our relationship with Mexico, and the problems with building walls in the first place.

“It’s more than just physical obstacles. It’s people. It’s the boots on the ground. And it’s the technology,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week. “When people talk about the border, so often I think they forget the advantages of our proximity to Mexico. Six million jobs in the U.S. depend on binational trade between the U.S. and Mexico.”

“Trump’s immigration plan would have drastically negative economic effects if it was successfully implemented,” said Alex Nowrasteh, Immigration Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. “It makes zero sense to hold up $24 billion a year in Mexican remittances to build a wall to block the lowest unlawful immigrant flows in decades. If this plan was ever put into effect, the practical outcomes would be a less efficient American economy, a larger black market, and lower incomes in Mexico.”

“Trump’s nonsensical proposals affront perhaps the most important day-to-day economic and diplomatic ally our country has. They ignore the deep cultural, political and familial ties between Mexico and the U.S.,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund.

“Trump’s border wall plan is morally and politically hollow, not to mention legally suspect. It would hurt our country’s economy and communities.

“When you have the leading candidate for one party’s nomination ready to obstruct the financial freedom of an entire population, it is pretty obvious this presidential campaign has brought an entirely new level of absurdity to our immigration debate.”


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