Washington: Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has said that he would force Mexico to pay for a border wall after becoming president by threatening to cut off the flow of billions of dollars which are sent home by the Mexican immigrants.
Trump's idea can destroy the Mexican economy and strain the relation between the two neighbours. In a two-page memo to The Washington Post, Trump revealed how he would force Mexico to pay for his 1,000-mile border fence. It is notable that the issue has been highlighted by Trump throughout his presidential campaign.
In the memo, Trump said he would change a rule under the USA Patriot Act antiterrorism law to cut off a portion of the funds sent to Mexico through money transfers, commonly known as 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 The threat would be withdrawn if Mexico made "a one-time payment of $5-10 billion" to pay for the border wall, he wrote.
"It's an easy decision for Mexico," Trump said in the memo, on campaign stationery emblazoned with "TRUMP Make America Great Again!"
After the wall was funded, Trump wrote, transfer payments could continue "to flow into their country year after year." The memo was given by Trump in response to a written question given to him by the newspaper before an interview last week.
According to the Mexican central bank, round $25 billion was sent home by Mexicans living abroad last year and the bulk of the money was sent in the form of money transfers. In his memo, Trump said that "the majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens."
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has slammed Trump's remittances proposal. "This is just one more example of something that is not thought through and is primarily put forward for political consumption," Obama said. "The notion that we're going to track every Western Union bit of money that's being sent to Mexico, good luck with that."