Trump Spells Out How He Would Make Mexico Pay For The Border Wall

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Appleton, Wis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

In a memo to the Washington Post published early Tuesday morning, Donald Trump laid out several strategies he could use to force Mexico to pay for a wall along the southern border of the United States.

Trump has long claimed that Mexico would pay for the wall, even though Mexican leaders have said they will never pay for a border fence.

The first plan Trump details uses the Patriot Act to limit the ability of Mexican nationals to send wire transfers to Mexico. Trump would propose a rule that would require proof of legal residence in the U.S. in order to send a wire transfer. Trump claimed that Mexico receives $24 billion in remittances from individuals in the U.S. each year and that “the majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens.” However, the Washington Post noted that the $24 million figure used by Trump reflects how much Mexico receives from all foreign countries, not just the U.S.

Trump wrote in his memo that if Mexico agreed to make a $5-10 billion payment to the U.S. for the wall, he would not finalize the rule limiting wire transfers.

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, spelled out this tactic in his February statement endorsing Trump, and the Post noted that Trump’s memo echoed tactics proposed by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who has endorsed Trump.

In the memo, Trump also wrote that he could use tariffs and visas as leverage to convince Mexico to pay for the wall.

Trump concluded his memo by mentioning how Mexican gangs and drug cartels exploit “our open borders.”

“The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again,” he wrote.

Read the full memo to the Washington Post here.

Correction: This post originally stated that Trump claimed that Mexico receives $24 million in remittances each year from the U.S. He claimed that Mexico receives $24 billion. We regret the error.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: