In brief remarks to the press Tuesday discussing new Treasury Department regulations, President Obama also commented on Donald Trump’s recently-released plan to make Mexico pay for a U.S. border wall, and he argued that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) supported “draconian” proposals, too.
Obama was asked whether Trump’s proposals — including his latest, to use the remittances Mexicans immigrants in the United States send back to Mexico as leverage to fund a border wall — were doing damage to the U.S. image abroad.
“I’ve been very clear earlier that I am getting questions constantly from foreign leaders about some of the wackier suggestions that are being made. I do have to emphasize it’s not just Mr. Trump’s proposals,” Obama said. “You’re also hearing concerns about Mr. Cruz’s proposals, which, in some ways, are just as draconian when it comes to immigration, for example.”
Obama went on to criticize Trump’s “impractical” remittance plan, the consequences of which Obama said would be “enormous.”
“The notion that we’re going to track every Western Union bit of money being sent to Mexico, good luck with that,” Obama said. He also said that any harm done to Mexico’s economy would cause more immigration into the United States.
“We got big issues around the world,” Obama said. “People expect the president of the United States and the elected officials in this country to treat these problems seriously, to put forward policies that have been examined, analyzed, are effective, where unintended consequences are taken into account. They don’t expect half-baked notions coming out of the White House.”