How President Trump Could Get Mexicans To Pay For The Wall. S.79 — 114th Congress (2015-2016) We Need to pressure Congress and the President to pass this bill.
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) sponsored a bill that now looks prophetic, the Remittance Status Verification Act of 2015. The Act would require providers of cash remittances, like Western Union and MoneyGram, to request proof of legal residence from senders of wire transfers destined abroad.
A person unable to produce the required proof would not be prevented from wiring the funds, nor exposed and expulsed. Rather, a fine of 7% would apply to the transfer. Presumably, it’s called a fine and not a tax because Mr. Vitter is a
Republican. The proceeds would be used for “border security fencing, infrastructure, and technology.” Some $25 billion a year is remitted into Mexico, almost entirely from the U.S., and there’s little doubt that undocumented aliens account for a sizable chunk of it. Accordingly, funds for the wall could easily be made to reduce the GDP of Mexico dollar for dollar, so voila.
The substantive discussion that ensues is equally (not) fastidious. On “day 1” a rule would be floated requiring Western Union (and the like) to implement what’s known as a “Customer Identification Program”—a requirement that already exists. A second rule would prohibit aliens unable to prove lawful status from wiring money abroad altogether. The resultant reduction of funds flowing to Mexico would, theoretically, make its government say uncle almost immediately.
Here’s where the president’s rulemaking authority might hit a ceiling. The enabling legislation targets money laundering and terrorist financing, neither of which is the issue at hand. But that kind of separation-of-powers hair-splitting may be a thing of the past under President Trump. If a tree falls in the forest, and neither Congress nor the Supreme Court is inclined to hear it, whether or not it makes any sound may prove immaterial.