You’ve heard all throughout Trump’s campaign – The U.S. is going to build a wall, and Mexico is going to pay for it!
Mexico, of course, had denied that there is any circumstances in which they’ll be paying for the wall, to which then-candidate Trump would always reply (to a chorus of laughter) “the wall just got ten feet taller!”
Among the executive orders that President Trump fired off his first week in office is one authorizing construction of the border – which is expected to cost anywhere from $10 billion to $25 billion. A hefty chunk of change for sure, but nothing compared to the $100+ billion annual cost of illegal immigration. Trump has gotten more serious when it comes to making Mexico pay since becoming President.
He’s opened by threatening a 20% tariff on Mexican imports. Some are reporting on that as a way to pay for the wall, but those tariffs would be paid for by American consumers – so it’s more likely that Trump’s strategy is to damage Mexico’s economy (by reducing demand for their now-relatively expensive goods). Trump has also proposed putting a tax on remittances (money sent back from illegal immigrants to their families back in Mexico) to help pay for the wall.
Regardless of whose paying for it – the wall is getting built. And since the wall will exist to keep out illegal immigrants, why not have illegals pay for it? It’s entirely possible, according to one immigration expert.
David North, an immigration expert with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) says he has a solution that would entail illegal immigrants living in the U.S. actually footing the bill. Under North’s proposal, he argues that by shuttering programs which federally fund illegal immigrants, nearly $1 to $3 billion could be shored annually, paying for the wall in potentially less than a decade.
“Put a 2 percent fee on all outgoing remittances,” North writes. “The rate is low enough to discourage alternative ways of sending money to the homelands, and the paper created will give IRS good leads for collecting unpaid income taxes.”
North also cites terminating the ruling which allows families with illegal immigrant family members obtain food-stamps, getting rid of the Additional Child Tax Credit for children who do not have Social Security numbers, mostly because their parents are illegal immigrants, and charge individuals a going-rate to enter the U.S. from Mexico.
North writes that a small 25 cents fee imposed on individuals entering the country from Mexico, and an additional $1 for a vehicle and $5 for a bus, could create revenue to pay for the southern border wall.
“None of these proposals would depress the Mexican economy, all would help fund the wall, and most would have absolutely no impact on the vast majority of American taxpayers, and all (but the crossing fees) would encourage illegal aliens to return home,” North writes.
That sounds like an extremely reasonable plan to me. Mexico enforces their immigration laws – and we’re many centuries overdue to do the same.