Seizing money from Mexican workers in the United States that is intended to be sent back to their families is a workable method for funding the cost to build the wall that Donald Trump has been talking about. President Obama was quick to dismiss the idea as political fodder and not something that could be enforced. However, if one were to follow the President’s logic, drugs or other contraband could not reasonably be prevented from being intercepted and seized– indeed, most of the drugs confiscated today are either seized or intercepted by postal employees or by private companies such as UPS and Fed X. These entities have employees who are equipped with specialized equipment, policies, and canines that enable them to efficiently detect and seize such contraband. Moreover, drug dealers and others who use these mediums to transfer such illegal items face stiff penalties that could be applied similarly to money transfers. This efficient rate of capture, coupled with stiff criminal penalties, will substantially deter people from sending money. Since it is evident that a significant portion of the money is desperately needed by family members in Mexico, stopping the flow would put immense pressure brought by the employees upon Mexican authorities to cough up the money necessary for the wall. Too much money is flowing out of the United States. According to a report by NBC News, “The U.S. is the biggest single source of those funds — with an estimated $56 billion outflow last year — followed by Saudi Arabia ($37 billion) and Russia ($33 billion). India took in the largest flow of remittances, with an estimated $72 billion last year, followed by China ($64 billion) and the Philippines ($30 billion), according to World Bank data.” It is estimated that 25 billion is sent to Mexico.
Under the Trump plan, once the government pays, the plan to intercept the money would be suspended. Contrary to Obama’s claim, the plan is a good one. A one-time payment of 10 billion dollars, the estimated cost of the wall, would have to make sense to the Mexican government.