This idea is actually decent. If you wish to halt illegal immigration, preventing those who come illegally from sending money back home accomplishes this purpose. If you wish to pressure the Mexican government, preventing people from sending money back to Mexico accomplishes this purpose.Of course, VDARE.com proposed this idea twelve years ago and has been monitoring the remittance issue ever since.
[Trump Trots Out His Plan To Force Mexico To Build A Wall. Surprise! It’s Not Bad, Daily Wire, April 5, 2016]
As Shapiro acknowledges, Trump’s is actually a fairly moderate plan, though you wouldn’t know from listening to the Main Stream Media—or Conservatism Inc.
Needless to say, this prompted tear-jerking MSM stories about the plight of Africans who depend on American-resident relatives sending them money [Life after losing remittances: Somalis share their stories, by Ali Gutale, The Guardian, June 18, 2015].
As in the case of Trump’s Mexican proposal, the reform was widely opposed by the MSM and the American Left because of the dependence of foreigners on money sent from the United States [Don’t Block Remittances To Somalia, by Keith Ellison, New York Times, April 10, 2015]
Note also that Trump’s plan to block remittances isn’t just an end in itself. The Republican frontrunner’s strategy was partially crafted by the great patriot Kris Kobach, who accurately noted the purpose of the plan is to give America an advantage in future negotiations with Mexico [Kobach: I helped write Trump’s border wall plan, by Eliza Collins, Politico, April 11, 2016].
Some other conservatives show signs of recognizing this. HotAir, a conservative website with a generally anti-Trump slant, said the plan showed Trump had put serious thought into his plan. Most importantly, author Ed Morrissey recognized the point of Trump’s plan was not to stop remittance payments altogether, but to increase leverage on Mexico for future negotiations [Trump: I’ll seize remittances to Mexico to pay for border wall, HotAir, April 5, 2016].
Indeed, Trump has other options apart from remittances. Jim Geraghty of National Review, who also knee-jerks against Trump, admitted last year that a President Trump could use a simple tax on wire transfers to accomplish his purpose. [Could a President Trump Really Impound All Immigrant Payments to Mexico? August 19, 2015].
Trump’s proposal has also won the support of the great Tom Tancredo—even though Tancredo is a Cruz supporter. In fact, Tancredo proposed much the same thing in 2004. And Tancredo argues for expanding restrictions on remittances to Islamic nations where the money could be used to support terrorists [Stop Remittances To Reduce Illegal Immigration, Improve National Security, by Tom Tancredo, Breitbart, April 9, 2016].
Nevertheless, the three Establishment Conservatism Inc. outlets have responded with suicidal knee-jerk anti-Trump tantrums:
Mexico is America’s third largest trading partner and U.S. manufacturing is highly integrated with Mexico. Capital controls would blow up a production-sharing relationship that has made the North American economy the envy of the world. [Trump’s Crumbling Wall Plan, April 10, 2016]Yes, that’s what happens when one country invades another—no matter how inconvenient it is for WSJ advertisers.
Assuming, as I do, that Trump is correct that total remittances amount to roughly $24 billion, a large chunk of that comes from legal Mexican aliens and American citizens of Mexican descent. They would have no trouble complying with Trump’s threatened regulation. Nor would illegal aliens be much deterred: There are many alternatives to wire transfer for remitting funds: e.g., mailing cash or prepaid credit cards, writing checks on bank accounts opened by qualified nominees, or even setting up informal hawala arrangements of the type popular in the Middle East.This, of course, directly contradicts McCarthy’s colleague Geraghty. And none of it is insurmountable. Why doesn’t McCarthy figure out ways to do it, instead of rolling on his back like a spaniel when finally forced to face the idea?
Trump’s Border Wall Plan Is Ridiculous on Its Face, April 9, 2016
Someone cleverer than I will [VDARE.com note: Yeah!] come up with a multitude of other ways that both the Internet and new modes of finance will trump Donald’s best (or worst?) intentions, but here are just two: [Walmart MoneyCards and pre-Paid Debit cards]. [Extortion Won’t Finance Trump’s Wall, April 7, 2016]Hmm Is Kaminsky implying that Mexicans are racially superior to Somalis?
Donald Trump wrote in The Art of the Deal: “I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”
It’s easy to see taxing remittances as Trump’s backup plan.
Ultimately, this plan is all about securing leverage, which Trump repeatedly defines as all important in his book. And one way of building up leverage, Trump says, is playing to your interlocutor’s expectations: “My leverage came from confirming an impression they were already predisposed to believe,” Trump says of one deal.
And Trump is already succeeding in convincing the Mexican leadership they are dealing with a man who will do whatever is necessary.
Trump is a “venom-spitting psychopath” said Gustavo Madero of the Mexican National Action Party. The fury of Mexican officials is practically an endorsement of Trump. But as Trump notes brutally, whatever their anger, “It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year” [Trump’s plan to seize remittances draws diverse reactions, The Yucatan Times, April 10, 2016].
The MSM’s attitude has of course been overwhelmingly negative. But the exact arguments advanced have been revealing.
Vox simultaneously argues developing nations are reliant on remittances, but also that Americans shouldn’t worry because Mexicans send home much less money than they used to [Remittances, explained for Donald Trump (and everyone else), by Dara Lind, Vox, April 8, 2016]. This is similar to the Open Borders Lobby’s paradoxical claim that illegal immigration is good for America, but also we shouldn’t worry because it is declining.
Other Treason Lobbyists, including Barack Hussein Obama, also argue the effect of Trump’s policy of restricting remittances and building a border wall would actually encourage more illegal immigrants to settle in the United States, because it would no longer make sense for people to “cycle” back and forth between Mexico and the United States.
Of course, simply enforcing immigration laws and mandating E-Verify would solve this problem. But it’s hard to take these arguments seriously. If Trump’s remittance policy did encourage illegal immigration, shouldn’t Vox support it?
And, incidentally, shouldn’t Ted Cruz? Cruz has been completely silent about Trump’s plan to stop remittances. (Naturally, this isn’t saving him from being labeled “just as draconian” when it comes to immigration by President Obama [President Obama says Trump and Cruz are harming foreign policy, by John Parkinson and Mary Bruce, ABC, April 5, 2016]).
But this is a question Cruz must answer. At least in theory, Cruz is also committed to building the Trump border wall, as he continues to steal Trump’s entire platform while slamming the Republican frontrunner as not a “true conservative.”
Indeed, Cruz has even said he would get Trump to build the Great Wall of Trump [President Ted Cruz Wouldn’t Just Build Donald Trump’s Border Wall. He’d Hire The Donald To Do It, By Alan Pyke, Think Progress, April 4, 2016].
Unless of course, Cruz doesn’t really mean it. According to his platform, Cruz supports a “wall that works” and refers to “completing” something which already exists. As Democratic immigration patriot Mickey Kaus notes, this language translates as “a high-tech ‘virtual wall’ that doesn’t work” [Why Ted Cruz’s Great Ad is a Dud, KausFiles, January 5, 2016].
A border fence was already promised the American people in the Secure Fence Act Of 2006 (!)) But the funding was gutted. Paul Ryan and the Republican Congress refused to fund it in the most recent Omnibus Spending Bill—even as they authorized millions for a host of Leftist programs [Paul Ryan Builds Border Fence Around His Mansion, Doesn’t Fund Border Fence in Omnibus, by Julia Hahn, Breitbart, December 17, 2015]
Assuming Cruz isn’t just lying, he’s going to need to explain how he is going to pay for the border wall he wants to build.
Donald Trump has given his answer. Why won’t Ted Cruz?
And what does Ted Cruz think about Trump’s plan to stop remittances—especially since his own supporters like Ben Shapiro and Tom Tancredo think it’s a good idea?
Shouldn’t someone in Cruz’s Cuckservative cheering squad want to ask him?
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.